Google has revealed two very clever apps for Android devices that make navigation around town a bit easier for blind and partially sighted people.
The first app, WalkyTalky, reads out the names of addresses and locations as you walk past them on route to your desired destination. Along with the spoken walking directions within Google Maps, the app helps the blind to "navigate the physical world".
The second app, IntersectionExplorer, marks the users original location (or desired start location) on an interactive map. With this app you can touch the screen and and the app will speak the name of the roads and directions as you scroll.
If you move your finger along a compass direction, and then trace a circle, the app "speaks each street at that intersection along with the associated compass direction". If a street is passed, you'll feel a vibration on your handset and lifting your finger when on a street moves you on to the next intersection, and tells you the move.
Both apps are in the Android Marketplace now. Both are free.