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AR app aids blind people at Manchester airport

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Manchester –  The Manchester airport is offering Augmented Reality App to aids travelers who are blind or have low vision maneuver through the terminal.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is partnering with technology company Aira to help guide travelers who are blind. A smartphone that includes a camera is required to access the free service that will allow travelers to connect with Aira “who act as visual interpreters,” the airport’s announcement said.

Aira is a professional version of a service that exists in free, peer-to-peer form. The idea is pretty simple: make a Skype-like connection with somebody over your smartphone so they can look through the camera and act as your eyes, telling you what they see. There are also versions using what is loosely called artificial intelligence to give advice, but people are still much better at this task.

Airport officials will unveil the technology Thursday morning at the airport’s information booth. Travelers, even before arriving, can download the app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store.

When they arrive, guests will receive an audio notification on their smartphones that they are at the airport and the service is available.

“We continually look to evaluate and enhance the customer experience at MHT,” said Airport Director Ted Kitchens.

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