Assistive Technology Blog

Aira: Service For Blind People To Make Them More Independent

Picture this: A blind person is walking down the street, and notices that it has been closed because of construction. Wanting to find an alternate route, the person presses a button on a camera fitted on their glasses,, and is immediately connected to an agent who can now see that person’s immediate surroundin, and also locate them on a map. The blind person now asks the agent to help them get to their destination. The remote agent looks up directions on a map, and starts narrating directions to help the person navigate. While doing so, the agent also describes the immediate surrounding of the blind person.

Does this sound like sound fiction? To many of us it does but this is very much reality now, thanks to Aira. This is how Aira works – through Aira, a blind person gets smart glasses that come with a camera. Whenever this person needs help with something, they just press a button on the camera, and immediately get connected to a live agent. The agent now has access to the camera’s feed as well as the blind person’s location. Using the feed, the agent can see what the blind person’s immediate surrounding is like, and using that information, can help them do several things to enhance their experience – describe the immediate surrounding, help navigate to their destination, order a cab, help pickup grocery from a grocery store, read bedtime stories to their children, and do a lot more to enhance their experience.

Currently, Aira has about 100 agents across the US, and costs $89 for 100 minutes of service with a trained agent.

Through Aira, blind users can incorporate sight into their lives as and when needed. Aira provides another layer of information that blind people don’t typically have access to, and helps them become more independent.

Watch the videos below to see how Aira helps blind people navigate their surroundings.

Source: The Washington Post