Hello folks,
I sent this message to the Microsoft Soundscape development team.  I hope that 
my suggestions will be taken into consideration by the development team and 
also hope that they will be helpful to other blind users, not only to me 
personally.
Here is the text of my email:

Hello,
I tried Soundscape released by Microsoft for the iOS platform in Rockville MD 
today.  I find the idea of 3D audio to be interesting.  However, the way the 
first release of this app stands lacks flexibility and functionality.
Here what I suggest to make the app of more use to me as an independent blind 
user:
Three features need to be added in the future releases.  The first is the 
ability to add my own beacons based on GPS map Addresses.  If I am in an 
unfamiliar area and wish to choose a specific address as my destination, I 
should be able to type in the address and use as a beacon, and discover my 
surrounding while I am in my way to this destination. I am not suggesting a 
turn by turn GPS navigation; there are a lot of apps available for turn by turn 
navigation.
The second suggestion which will enhance the usability and flexibility of 
Soundscape will be to add a feature that enables the user to make their own 
beacons based on the GPS coordinates of a specific location.  This feature will 
be extremely useful for blind students and employees in large college campuses 
where the buildings do not show on GPS navigation maps, visually impaired 
people living in large housing complexes, and people who wish to go for a walk 
in public parks. For example, the user can make a beacon marking the entrance 
to the university library, another marking the entrance to the cafeteria, and a 
third beacon to mark the bus stop. I Work at the university of Maryland and 
find navigating the large campus to be challenging.  If I can make my own 
marked beacons inside the campus, my life would be much easier.  If I want to 
go for a walk in a large park, I can make a beacon marking the entrance so that 
I can find my way out of the park once I finish, I can also mark another point 
inside the park to visit again in the future, and so on.
The third and final suggestion will be to add more flexibility by allowing me 
to choose the radius of the area I want to explore, or how far ahead the points 
of interest I need to know.  While I walked in Rockville MD today, I tried to 
find what points of interest were ahead of me, and what points are around me.  
It gave me points which were over 800 yards away from me, some of them were 
across a major highway.  I find this kind of information to be unhelpful.  
While I appreciate the idea of knowing points of interest preselected for me, I 
should at least choose the distance of the points I want to know about.  I 
should be able to choose not to know about any points more than 200 or 300 feet 
away from me should I choose to do so.

These are my first and immediate reactions to the Soundscape app.  I hope they 
will be taken into consideration when planning the future updates to this 
application.

Regards,

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