In the United States alone, there are more than 7 million adults with visual disabilities. These disabilities limit access to physical and digital information, making it challenging to complete simple tasks and fully take part in society and the economy. Indeed, over 70 percent of this community is not employed full time, which significantly impacts their economic outlook.
Aira’s technology enables the blind community to overcome traditional barriers to employment by providing unique descriptions of their surroundings in real time. With Aira, a blind user wears a pair of smart glasses, which connects to an active video feed. Users video call Aira’s network of remote, professionally trained agents, and an AI-based system routes the call to an agent with the right skill set for the request. The agent sees the blind user’s surroundings through the video and describes the scene to them in detail.
In addition to offering individual customer plans, businesses hire Aira to make their locations accessible to the blind, so blind users gain free Aira access, while businesses enjoy increased patronage from the blind community.
70 percent of blind working-age adults are unemployed, and many live below the poverty line. As a result of unemployment or low wages, annual productivity losses for the blind community amount to $48.4 billion. Aira Access enables businesses to become more accessible, while increasing employment opportunities for this sizable pool of untapped talent.
Aira currently seeks:
- Employers, schools, and organizations aiding the blind to identify more blind and low-vision job seekers who could benefit from its free employment assistance;
- Colleges and universities to drive more blind and low-vision students toward college graduation success through its Back to School Program; and
- High-tech firms specializing in groundbreaking approaches to accessibility and assistive technology.
Some of Aira’s notable achievements include:
- Listed on Forbes’ AI 50: America’s Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies of 2019;
- Awarded Robert S. Bray Award at 2019 ACB National Convention; and
- Listed on TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2018.
Aira currently partners with several organizations to better serve the blind community, such as:
- AT&T’s Dynamic Traffic Management initiative, which allows Aira’s dashboard to run more efficiently;
- The National Federation of the Blind, which invests in blind technologies; and
- New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), San Diego International Airport, and Walgreens, among others, which provide free Aira services to the blind in their locations.
Within 18 months of going to market, Aira provided over 25,000 hours of service across 500 unique tasks.
San Diego, CA, USA
Real-Time Visual Descriptions for the Blind
Solver Aira, which provides real-time visual descriptions for the blind, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as a Community-Driven Innovation Solver.