Apr 30, 2021 - Technology

How Apple's AirTags could be extra useful for blind people

Apple Air Tags

Photo: Courtesy Apple.

Apple's AirTags have the potential to be quite handy for those of us who misplace stuff and a significant new revenue source for Apple. But for those who are blind or have very low vision, the new product trackers could be a game changer.

Why it matters: The combination of the iPhones VoiceOver accessibility features and the new product-tracker tags could make it a lot easier for blind people to keep tabs on objects they can't see.

  • "Misplacing items such as your white cane or Braille Display can leave you vulnerable and exposed," says David Goodwin, the founder and editor of AppleVis, a site that specializes in how blind people and those with low vision can benefit from Apple products.
  • "Being able to quickly locate them with a few taps on your iPhone should quite simply be a game changer," Goodwin adds.

How it works:

  • Like Tile, Apple's bluetooth trackers can help locate items using bluetooth and have them play a sound.
  • With AirTags, Apple is incorporating the ability of the latest iPhones to help guide users to the item, offering details like "it's eight feet ahead on your left."
  • And with VoiceOver, a blind person can simply ask Siri to help them find a specific AirTag and get such directions via voice.

Bottom line: Goodwin is eager to get his hands on AirTags, which officially go on sale Friday for $29 a piece or $99 for a four-pack.

  • "Here's to fewer times when I have to ask a family member, friend, work colleague, or nearby stranger 'can you see where I left ...?' ”
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