Outdoor Locations – RealSAM’s Navigation Tool

This article image is a picture of a path through a park that goes straight then winds to the left. There’s bright green grass on both sides of the path. On the Left side there are two benches spaced apart and towards the back there are trees. At the bottom right there’s a GPS location marker labeled, ‘halfway through park path 0 meters.’ The first bench has a similar label, ‘1st park bench 1 meter left.’ Likewise, the 2nd bench’s label says, ‘2nd park bench 2 meters front.’ On the bottom left corner of the picture is the RealSAM website at www.realsam.co.uk.

At RealThing Ai it’s our mission to deliver solutions that help blind and visually impaired users go about their day independently. Outdoor Locations is one assistive feature, available on all RealSAM mobile phones, enabling someone blind or partially sighted to find their way any time they’re out and about.  

Here’s everything you need to know about Outdoor Locations. 

1. Outdoor Locations vs. Map Apps

Outdoor Locations is a navigation tool included on the RealSAM Phone and the RealSAM Pocket. It relies on your handset’s built-in GPS receiver allowing RealSAM to track your location and tell you where you are as you travel outside.  

Outdoor Locations will not give you step-by-step directions to get from point A to point B. It’s not like other map applications. It’s a tool that you customise to help you find your way as you walk a familiar route. The first time you use Outdoor Locations in a new route, you label specific points in your travel as locations that will be saved on a list. The next time you travel the same route, Outdoor Locations will let you know that you are approaching or passing those points. It will also let you know your distance and direction from the nearest saved locations.

2. Starting and Stopping Outdoor Locations 

As with everything RealSAM, Outdoor Locations is simple and easy to use. Simply press the ‘tap to talk’ button on your RealSAM mobile phone and say, ‘Start Outdoor Locations.’ RealSAM will respond with, ‘Starting Outdoor Locations.’ 

It will also remind you that Outdoor Locations uses a lot more battery power than other applications, so be aware about your handset having enough charge. One suggestion for anyone who wants to use Outdoor Locations for longer periods would be to carry a portable backup charging device. You can hook up your handset on the go and not worry about draining the battery as you use Outdoor Locations to navigate. 

When you’re done using Outdoor Locations, simply, ‘tap to talk’ and say, ‘Stop Outdoor Locations.’ RealSAM will say, ‘Stopping Outdoor Locations.’ Your handset will then return to normal battery usage. You can start and stop Outdoor Locations at any time as you travel, it will automatically detect where you are and your nearest labeled locations. 

3. Labeling Locations

If you start Outdoor Locations, but you have not yet labeled any points, RealSAM will not say anything as you move since it has no list to refer to. Additionally, you must have Outdoor Locations running before you can begin labeling locations. Also note that while you can label locations indoors, Outdoor Locations works best, more accurately outside. 

To label a location, start Outdoor Locations. Stand at the spot you want to label, press the ‘tap to talk’ button and say, ‘Label location as…’ or ‘Add location as…’ For example, if you want to add your house, stand by your front door, press the ‘tap to talk’ and say, ‘Add location as Home.’ Or ‘Label location as Home.’ RealSAM may say, ‘Home zero metres.’ This means you’re standing right where your label is. Then as you walk away, every minute or so, with Outdoor Locations turned on, RealSAM will say something like, ‘Home 5 metres back,’ meaning that your front door is now 5 metres behind you. As you get closer to your front door, RealSAM may say something like, ‘Home 5 metres front.’ 

4. Customising Your Locations

You can label as many locations as you want with different names. Every one will automatically be saved on your locations list and detected the next time that you’re near it. 

Label shops and streets by their actual names like, ‘Kaffeine’, ‘Aldi’, and ‘Corner of Enterprise Way’. Get creative with your location names; label the beginning of your drive, ‘Nearly Home’, the entrance of your favourite park, ‘Secret Garden’, the corner of a noisy street, ‘Barky Lane’, etc. Set unique landmarks like, ‘1st Park Bench’, and ‘3rd Buildings from Lisa’s Apartment’.

When it’s difficult or not possible to see landmarks and read signs, it’s reassuring to know that you’re going the right way. You’ll hear RealSAM tell you that you’re approaching the different landmarks you’ve set along the way.

5. Managing Your Locations List

It’s easy to change the name of your location labels. Simply press the ‘tap to talk’ button and say, ‘List locations.’ Select the location you want to change and say, ‘Change to…’ For example, if you want to change your label from ‘Home’ to ‘My Castle’, select ‘Home’ from the list and say, ‘Change to My Castle.’ RealSAM will ask you to confirm the change by saying, ‘Please say, ‘Yes.’ If you want to change name to My Castle, or, ‘No.’ to cancel.’ 

Likewise, remove locations from your list by selecting the location and saying, ‘Delete.’ RealSAM will ask you to confirm by saying, ‘Say, ‘Yes’ to delete or ‘No’ to cancel.’ 

6. Setting Focus Points

One more thing you can do from your Locations List is to set a ‘focus point’. This is telling RealSAM that your goal is to reach that particular location. For example, select ‘Home’ from the list and say, ‘Focus.’ From then on, RealSAM will notify you with something like, ‘Focus point ‘Home’ 10 meters front right.’ This lets you know you’re going in the right direction; your front door is 10 meters forward to your right. If your aim is ‘Home’ but you hear RealSAM say something like, ‘Focus point ‘Home’ 20 meters back left,’ then you know you’re going the opposite way.  

Read More about Navigation Features and Assistive Tools on RealSAM

Learn more about Outdoor Locations by reading ‘Margaret’s Story’. She shares her experience with Pocket and describes how she uses Outdoor Locations on her walks. 

RealSAM devices have additional navigational features without having to turn on Outdoor Locations. You can read more about this feature from ‘RealSAM’s Navigation Tool – Get Accurate Location and Narby Points of Interest’ from the RealSAM News Page. 


By Guenivir Kendrick


Check out our articles on our other RealSAM assistive tools from:

Accessible Time and Weather on Your RealSAM Mobile Phone

Be My Eyes 

Using Text Recognition on RealSAM Mobile Phones

Using the built-in RealSAM Magnifier 

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