Las Vegas Sun

July 21, 2019

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New app helps autistic travelers navigate Las Vegas airport


The MagnusCards app is displayed on a smartphone. The new app will assist travelers with special needs navigate through McCarran International Airport.

The cellphone app depicts a boy positioned on real photos at McCarran International Airport.

Signing up for the free MagnusCards app, travelers with cognitive special needs — such as those with autism — can be guided through the facilities by “Magnus,” a boy with a magician-style hat.

This week, the Las Vegas airport became the first air travel hub in the U.S. to be featured on MagnusCards, “a mobile app which leverages technology to empower and aid people as they engage in a variety of everyday activities,” according to a news release.

Users can view or download digital cards with video, audio and text instructions as to how to navigate the airport, whether it be checking in, going through security, finding a restroom, boarding a plane or locating the baggage area, according to the release.

The app is available for Android or iPhone devices.

“We want to ensure that all of our passengers are able to safely and efficiently navigate through our airport,” said Clark County Aviation Director Rosemary Vassiliadis in the release. “This new tool is another example of how McCarran is committed to innovation and improving the passenger experience.”

The 46 digital cards provide detailed and easy-to-follow instructions.

The app has a magnitude of cards for everyday life, such as safety, cleaning, food, attractions and personal care.

The application was developed by Magnusmode. The Canadian company was started by Nadia Hamilton — whose brother has autism — “to build a company and a technology that creates a world where people with special needs can fully participate with independence and inclusion,” according to the company’s website.