A new system of GPS has come into use the for visually-impaired and their guide dogs (users of canes as well). There are several voice activated systems on the market, designed to complement a guide dog. Since only a small percentage of visually-impaired people venture to new places, the GPS systems can open a whole new world to them.
Guide dogs are able to lead their charges clear of obstacles and safely cross streets. The GPS can pinpoint a specific location as well as points of interest when programmed, announcing streets, etc. when reached. If an obstacle such as steps is encountered, the user can, using voice programming, ask the GPS to remember the location.
Systems may be worn around the neck or on a shoulder strap while the hand held pc can have a touchscreen. Using vibrations they direct the guide dogs and owners to their destination.
The systems offer more independence for vision-impaired persons. But most vision-impaired people feel that while GPS systems will enhance their mobility, they will not replace the companionship of their guide dogs.