AUSTIN (KXAN) — A group of innovators hope to give people who are blind or visually impaired more freedom when exploring the world around them.

illumie is a project out of Europe and ran through Sopra Steria, a software developer. It was part of the House of Creative Denmark at South By Southwest in Austin this week. The event focused on Danish creators in film, technology and other platforms.

The creators behind illumie say they hope to bridge the gap between using a mobility aid and understanding what’s actually out in the world around people who have trouble seeing.

Initially, illumie started with Magic Leap, a device similar to a VR headset. It worked through, “light detection and ranging” or LiDar. In real-time, it mapped the world around the user. It then gives audio feedback on what it saw.

illumie at SXSW shows off Day 1 testing of its initial device that used LiDar technology.

But, after receiving feedback from the Norwegian Association for the Blind, illumie changed its device.

Ingri Skogsrød, one of the creators behind illumie said Wednesday that, “they liked the functionality, loved it, but hated the hardware.” Users said they, “want as little stuff as possible, don’t want to have to drag it with us, charge it, learn how to use it.”

That’s how it got to where it is now. The mobile shield is an app that will be available straight on smartphones. It uses augmented reality to help people navigate the world. The user would wear the phone around their neck, and then as they move, the app explains to the user where and what’s in front of them.

Users shared feedback on illumie’s magic shield.

The creators say GPS and GeoNotes help create a layout of the land.

“It’s very hard to do something about an obstacle if you don’t know where it is or what it is. So just knowing that there’s something there is a little bit useless,” Skogsrød said.

illumie is also testing out haptic feedback devices. They would provide the audio cues through bone conduction, leaving the user’s ears unblocked and able to hear the environment clearly around them.

illumie’s work is still in the testing phase right now. You can sign up for the pilot test on its website.