New tech gives visually impaired people unique experience at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

DENVER — Some new technology is allowing visually impaired patrons to have a unique experience at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

It’s all thanks to 'EdgGuide,' a micro navigation system that allows for detailed and accurate indoor navigation around the museum.

"We wanted to make sure all patrons get a real robust experience either through visual or auditory,” said Mike Hess, executive director and founder of the Blind Institute of Technology.

Hess, who was born blind, came up with the idea.

Basically, you download a free app (featuring the program) onto your cellphone. You then ask someone at the ticket desk inside the museum for the rest of the setup.

The setup includes a high-tech harness, which features a remote system that pings GPS like signals to your phone. The technology automatically knows where you are in the museum and a Siri-like voice fills you in with detailed information about each exhibit.

"It’s not a replacement for your cane or service animal… It’s an augmented experience,” Hess said.

Hess teamed up with CACI, a technology provider that works closely with the Federal Government on other programs.

“We hope to see this expand to a lot of different venues, especially here in Colorado!” said Phil Hatch, director at CACI.

The technology has an accuracy of 20 centimeters.

So far, it features 100 exhibits. According to Hess, more exhibits will be added.

"This technology can transform lives and user experiences for the greater population,” Hess said.

The technology is free for all museum patrons to use.

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