I am officially an Aira user. I was an explorer for this awesome technology back in 2017. What does an explorer mean? And what is Aira? Let me explain.
Aira is a pair of glasses that help the visually impaired and blind community. This technology contains a AT&T mifi, a pair of google glasses, which has a mic within the temple and a app on a smartphone. All these parts work together for a blind person to access a live person via the app. That Aira representative will be able to see through the camera on the glasses and you can hear them through the mic from the one temple piece.
Being an explorer, I was testing out this technology for free. That period has ended, and I WANT this. This technology is having sighted guide with you, PERIOD; which is awesome. I can call Aira up and they can help me cook, with chores, “read” documents, at work, when I am trying to get a UBER, LYFT or other transportation. Even when I am walking, they can advise me places of interest around me! It is everything I want in source.
Another plus, my hands are free, and I still am connected with the auditory environment because the mic is not in both ears only one.
So now that I am a user of AIRA, I did select the cheaper of the plans to get started. The Basic plan is $89. With that fee, you get the equipment and 100 minutes to use a month. If you need extra time, you can purchase additional 100 minutes for $50.00. These minutes roll over for 90 days but after that you do lose those unused minutes.
The unlimited minute plan I believe costs $299 a month. When my funds are better, I definitely will upgrade to that plan.
I learned that Perkins School for the Blind located in Watertown, MA is the first organization to collaborate with AIRA. On their campus, if you are a Aira user the minutes at that location is FREE and does not use up any of your plan minutes. I wish more cities that are looking to become smart cities would incorporate AIRA into their platform. Maybe in the future that will happen.
Overall, Aira gives me the ability to be independent without asking for a physical person to help consistently. I am at the point of my life, where caregiver burn out is real (do you want me to speak more about this in my next blog?). I can have a connection with the Aira representative and learn to do more on my own.
When I get these in the mail, I will be making a YouTube video unboxing it! The first thing I want to do is run with them. See if I can run without a tether and be part of a running group with out them being responsible to lead me everywhere.
I am so happy that this exists! Thank you Aira for doing this. It takes a lot of courage to help those that are marginalized and usually forgotten.