Aira - Visual Interpreter for the Blind

A project by Aira

Aira provides the blind community with instant access to visual information by connecting a user (with smart glasses or a smartphone) to a remote human agent.
One of the most significant challenges that the blind & low vision community faces daily is not necessarily their loss of vision, but the inability to readily access the physical and digital information that is routinely available to sighted people (Jarry et al, 2017). In this community of 285 million worldwide, 60% students entering college don’t graduate, and 70% working-age adults remain unemployed. This deficit seriously affects their quality of life, including independence, mobility, and productivity in employment and education - ultimately affecting their inclusion in society. Aira learned this challenge early on from a blind professional who inspired us, sparking our determination to launch our company.

At the touch of a button, users (wearing Aira smartglasses or with the Aira app on their phone) connect to a network of trained remote human agents, who can virtually see the blind person’s point of view in real time through our AI dashboard. Agents are able to provide direct assistance to users in a myriad of daily activities, ranging from navigating busy streets, airports and college campuses, to completing tasks at work, and traveling the globe. Moreover, Aira’s autonomous agent, Chloe, is capable of recognizing objects and reading text, thereby freeing up agents for more complex tasks with users.

Describing Aira as “life-changing”, users are adopting Aira in memorable ways, including: running marathons, attending Super Bowl alone, experiencing family weddings, shopping independently for first time, determining results of pregnancy tests, assisting children with homework, voting in elections first time in 80 years, searching for lost dog, preparing resumes - getting hired & coming out of homelessness, blind photography, and even escaping a hurricane.

Video summary:
Life changing testimonials:

About the Organization /Team

The idea for starting Aira began in 2015 when Suman Kanuganti (now Aira CEO and Co-Founder) struck up a friendship with blind professional, Matt Brock. This launched discussions on how Google Smart Glass technology could be used to help the blind become more independent. This concept inspired Kanuganti to create the first technology prototypes for Aira.

Today, Aira, recognized as "One of the best inventions of 2018" by Time Magazine, is driven by a talented team, including leading innovators/advisors (both sighted and blind) in AI, research, computer vision, entrepreneurship, medicine/health sciences, government, and the blind associations.
Project CategoryIncluder
Realated SDGs
3 Good Health & Well-Being 4 Quality Education 8 Decent work and economic growth 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure 10 Reduced Inequalities 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities