Assistive Technology Highlight: Aira

January 10, 2019

A new service for people who are Blind/Visually Impaired is growing in popularity. Aira is a paid service that connects people who are BVI with specifically trained sighted assistants who can help navigate, read documents, and complete other daily tasks.

Students can benefit greatly from Aira. For example, an agent can:

  • Read class handouts, schedules, and room numbers
  • Guide a student to a new classroom or find a professor’s office
  • Read textbook chapters aloud
  • Assist with using less accessible software programs
  • Assist during a field trip (e.g., read museum panels, describe animals in a zoo)
  • Help locate, either online or physically, a bus used for public transport

Users can access Aira either through the Aira app on a smartphone or through Aira’s Smart Glasses. Through the glasses or phone camera, an Aira agent can see what is in front of the user and accurately answer questions or provide directions.

Aira tracks the most popular activities for which users request assistance. In 2018, Aira reported that the most popular activities were:

  1. Reading
  2. Navigating
  3. Completing online tasks
  4. Assisting with technology
  5. Shopping

Visit the Aira website for more information and pricing.