Have you heard of AIRA?

smart glassesI was reviewing software that can help individuals who are blind, especially when involved with travel and came across this new technology service.  The service is titled AIRA.  The technology is a smart glasses with integrated video, audio and Wifi camera and communication device that connects a person who is blind with a sighted agent, who can see and take snap shots of images in the blind persons surroundings.

This is quite useful when someone is traveling to a new location and they don’t know the city or the area well or when they encounter unforeseen obstacles in their travel such as detours or construction.  Agents also can help them read and find signage and details such as price tags, etc. when they are in stores when shopping. 

What makes it valuable is that the person who is blind taps the glasses and this sends a message to an agent who quickly connects with them, and finds outs what information they are requiring.  Once they are completed with a task that required a sighted person, they tap the smart glasses and end the call.

Could such technology be used in higher education for students with visual disabilities?  Instead of having to be in the classroom taking notes, could a notetakers take notes from afar?  These things are possible, but most likely readers and notetakers are more effective if they are in the class or meet with the person one on one.  However, for travel situations, the service does seem to be a dream come true for persons who are visually impaired.



Aria Demo on YouTube


Vision Aware blog article