Accessibility: Using Soundscape At Millennia Mall!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today is another Accessibility Review!

Using Soundscape in Mall at Millennia!

As you know, I have been using the Soundscape app developed by Microsoft on my phone. It’s a GPS location app where you can know where you are, what’s around you, and what’s ahead of you. You can also place a beacon on a place to help you find it if you need to catch your ride on time.

I already have used this app while going to Walgreens near me and the Altamonte Mall to see if it works in an indoor place and it does. I did tell the guy who introduced me to my very beautiful Braille Sense Polaris about that tidbit because he has a friend who wondered about that and that answered their question to see if it could work in a mall. So, I wanted to try this app at other malls in town and decided to try it out in the Millennia Mall which is a huge tourist spot here in Orlando. Yes, some of the stores are upscale but some of my fave ones are here which include Lush, Bath & Body Works, MAC, GameStop, Apple, and NYX.
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Hay I had to stop here is because I needed more of my Celestial Moisturizer from Lush since that is the only moisturizer that works on my sensitive skin besides coconut oil. I use this moisturizer before I put on my primer to put on makeup and it does make a difference since my skin has been improving thanks to this and other things. I also needed to go to NYX to get another Light Concealer Jar and wanted to get their translucent powder which I have heard good things about.

What Happened? Well…not much! As in, I felt like this mall was not a good environment for this app because whenever I walked around with my dad to get to the NYX store all I heard, “Heading in this direction Millennia Mall!” It didn’t point any of the stores out while leaving from the food court heading towards the NYX Store which was on the bottom floor. It didn’t point out Bath & Body Works either which over in Altamonte it was pointed out and I kind of figured out why nothing was pointed out except the Apple Store after passing by it. I could have seen on the other side to see if it would point out any of the stores, especially the really luxury ones like Versacci and Bloomingdale’s. I think the issue was…

Issues? It’s the noise in the mall and I’m talking about the really loud music you tend to hear throughout the mall. Ever since this mall has opened back in the early 2000s, which was my high school years by the way, there were these little TV screen panels hanging over the center of the mall which align with the Food Court on the top floor. You hear surround sound orchestra music and now they added more modern music to it. You also tend to hear the music from inside whatever store you were in. I still remembered the echo of it when I was inside Waldenbooks when it was in that mall when it first opened. (Trust me, I still miss it!) I think the music and the echo of it throughout the mall was not helping Soundscape be able to detect the stores inside but it did really detect Apple on the bottom floor which surprised me and even told me that I was in the parking lot when we got outside. Seriously? It did it over the roar of waterfalls outside, oh yeah this mall is upscale on the outside. I’m not bashing on either one but I think Soundscape needs an update soon in detecting more places and not only that, forgot to mention…

More to Improve! I feel like the app needs to improve on the area you’re in. I didn’t get to mention in this first review but whenever I’m in a store it keeps on mentioning its distance. For instance, standing in Barnes & Noble, it still says, “B&N 12 Meters!” It should just say along when you hit the “My Location” button, “You are in Barnes & Noble!!” Then proceeds to tell the places next door to that place rather than just making it sound you’re not there.

Another thing is is still the Meters to My Right Or Left which can help even more. I’m glad that this app works but Millennia is not the mall for this app, I can’t say they should take down that music display since that seems to be a favorite thing among the visitors. I would say just go without Soundscape and go with friends for sighted help or if you have it, AIRA with you because more blind people are getting those glasses nowadays. If you don’t have AIRA and still want that sighted support through your phone, Be My Eyes is another option.

Well, that’s my use of Soundscape in another mall! I’m stil wanting to put this app to the test at Florida Mall to see how well it can detect its maze of stores and see if it can detect the hotel part. That may have to wait since a lot of things are coming up the next few months! So, anything new? Not yet, just follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for our updates!

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