CHICAGO (CBS) — The Shedd Aquarium wants to make sure all its guests have a great experience learning about all the fascinating fish and engaging animals it has on display, so it’s using new technology to help people with vision issues.
Guests can use smartphones to connect with the Aira app to get real-time audio descriptions from a live agent for 30 minutes at a time.
Think of it as using Facetime for the agent to see what you’re in front of and then tell you about it – including details about the size and number of animals, exhibit signs and more.
Agents also can guide guests locate dining areas, gift shops, rest rooms and more.
“We’re continuously seeking new ways to better connect our audience with the aquatic animal world,” said Lynn Walsh, manager of accessibility and inclusion at Shedd Aquarium. “Now, we can deliver personalized interpretation on-demand that helps our guests have more mission moments at the aquarium and freedom to explore at their own pace.”
The Shedd is the first Chicago attraction to offer the service.