Description of App
Aira is a visual information service that has been specially designed for people who are blind or low vision. Through augmented reality and artificial intelligence, Aira instantly connects you to a highly-trained, sighted agent that’s dedicated to enhancing your everyday experience.
–– Key Features ––
- Can be used on just your phone, or for an enhanced hands-free experience, use the app with a pair of Aira Smart Glasses
- Connect to an Aira Agent in under 10 seconds
- Achieve enhanced efficiency for completing tasks with access to visual information
- Sign up as a Guest to use the service in specific Aira Access locations such as partner airports or venues
- A range of plans to choose from: choose the one that’s right for your lifestyle
- Plans include cost of data, equipment, equipment insurance, and your monthly minute package
- Organize and locate rides easily by linking your Uber / Lyft accounts to your Aira account
- Access free minutes in a growing network of locations around the country (and soon the world)
- Join a supportive and inspiring community of Aira Explorers
–– Aira at home ––
Sort mail and medications
Color match clothes
Read mom's recipe
Interpret Captcha code
Manage computer tasks
Read to a child
–– Aira at school ––
Roam the campus
Locate a stadium seat
Lay out an outfit
Select cafeteria items
Read a whiteboard
Read inaccessible print handouts
Find a vacant library cubicle
–– Aira at work ––
Locate the elevator
Navigate the site
Interpret presentation slides
Operate office equipment
Find an office or cubicle
Sort mail and papers
–– Aira on the go ––
Explore your city
Go for a hike
Enjoy the park or zoo
Travel with confidence
Find available gym equipment
Roam historic sites
Check out a museum
–– Questions? ––
Ready to explore but need to know more? Connect with us and start the conversation today.
Phone: +1 800 835 1934
–– Thank you ––
To ensure the best service possible, we’re always updating the Aira app with new features and functionality, so make sure you’re running the latest version.
Too Costly for me!
Wow I like the idea, but waaay too much. Starting at $89? I'll have to pass this for now.
Emerging tech often goes down in price as it matures.
I agree the price is high right now, but, for those of us who must hire sighted readers to help us with household tasks like filling out printed forms and reading mail, it is not such a terrible deal.
Anyway, I believe the price of this service should decline over time as more blind users come on board and more tasks can be accomplished using artificial intelligence.
I also hope Aira will consider creating a foundation that will raise money to help more blind people afford the cost.
howd does this compare to apps like be my eyes and BeSpecular
Just wondering; I mean, if this app is just a way to do video calls with sighted people isn't that a lot like be my eyes. I have found that I like the BeSpecular model better for most of what I need such apps for, but that's just my own personal experience.
Aira's agents are trained to work with us.
The main difference between Aira and other similar systems like Be My Eyes is that the people working for Aira are paid, trained agents who know specifically how to work with blind people.
Aira also uses Google Glass as the camera
I am one of Aira's testers, and not only are the agents trained to work with/communicate with blind people, for the price of the plan, they will send you Google Glass to use as a hands-free camera. You can also use your phone's camera if you wish, but the Glass is there so you can walk around and, say, call Aira to have an agent read signs and things like that. You have the assistance, but you can also walk around with your cane or guide dog at the same time if you use Google Glass.
This sounds pretty neat!
This sounds pretty neat! Would love to hear someone do a podcast on this.
I thought google glass is a
I thought google glass is a dead technology though no longer being supported or developed by google? the description of the app makes it sound like we are in constant need of help or assistance, I guess its good to have options though I won't be subscribing.
Available outside the US?
Is this available outside the US? if not, are there any plans to make it international? Also, is there a demo video/podcast for this, or somewhere else I can learn more about how the service works and what it might be useful for?
AIRA in the UK.
I have written to the AIRA team asking them whether AIRA is downloadable in the UK.
It turns out it is as I just looked on the app store.
I might try this, just to see what happpens.
I have Be My Eyes and that is a great service however this is slightly different as they have access to google maps and things like that.
Yes, you can download the app in the UK, but I don't think you can sign up for the service.
AIRAS Terms of Service
In the airas Terms of Service it says that a user is able to try out AIRA for 30 minutes.
I would like to do this to compare it to be my eyes.
Honestly, having looked at the price for this service, I probably won't pay for it as it is way to much. Although a 30 minute trial would be nice. Who knows, I might end up paying after all.
It might be interesting to have someone there telling you what is around you, then again it might turn out to be very annoying. I just don't know unless I try it out.
AIRA outside of the US
As far as I know, AIRA is available in the UK. I'm not sure about other countries.
The reason I say it is available is because I am able to download the AIRA app off of the app store.
Here is a link to a video of someone using AIRA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEejIaDTCwQ
This is the same video as the one on the AIRA site.
I'm not sure.
I've emailed and facebook messaged the team to see what they say.
I'll write a message tellling you what they said if I get a reply.
I could see using this if I traveled a lot more. I wonder how much data this would take up? It also seems to be different than other apps as the person seems to stick with you longer.
I just thought of another question.
Do the AIRA google glasses come with headphone speakers of some type?
If not, for those of us that don't have good headphones, we're going to have to use the IPhone speaker and as we all know, that's not good on busy roads or in loud environments.
I got messaged back and here are the answers to my questions.
1. Can the app be used in the UK. Not at the moment. Having said that, there are tests in the UK that are going on.
2. What is the difference between AIRA and BeMyEyes? The aira team says that they have a ten second pick up time where as BEMyEyes can have up to 45 minute wait. Personally i've not had this happen to me and have had to only wait for about 10 seconds for BeMyEyes. They also have uber integration, a live feed GPS and internet searching capabilities.
They also come with google glass or another brand of glasses with a camra that I can't remember at the moment, so you don't have to hold your phone all the time.
3. Does the AIRA google glass come with headphones? No, they work with any headphones be they bluetooth or plugged into your phone.
I have decided that for me, this is a service I will not be using. The payments are way to expencive and if I need help I will just ask someone and go from there.
A little nitpick at the AIRA team.
I mentioned in my facebook posts to the AIRA team, that their pricing plans wern't layed out as I expected. I expected a table as that would be easier for a screen reader to read. I mentioned this and they said they would pass it on to their team.
What makes me pick at this? They are a service to help the blind and Visually impaired and they don't know this?
This confuses me. Surely they'd have some blind members on their team, right?
Hello from Aira!
Hello there, my name is Wesley and I work on the Aira team! I'm happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the Aira app & service. I'll go through some of the ones already posted to this thread that haven't already been responded to by some of our current users.
Troy: Here is the link to the Speaking Out for the Blind podcast featuring one of our engineers and an Aira user. https://soundcloud.com/user-674130373/speaking-out-for-the-blind-aira
Alex: Google glass is no longer available for individual purchase, but google has been hard at work on a newer version of glass with even stronger connectivity features that we ship to our users. It's only available to companies at this time.
JeffB: We ship an AT&T mifi device with all of the glasses, so all of the data goes through that device instead of your phone. The data is built into your subscription price.
Brad: Thanks for asking all the questions earlier :) In regards to the pricing table, every email and web page we have has been tested with screen readers for functionality by multiple blind users. We hadn't received any complaints regarding that specific page. What screen reader are you using so we can test with that as well?
Responses from Another Aira User
Thanks for the good posts here. Full disclosure, I consult with Aira. I am also a very stubborn blind person who does not seek or like very much assistance. However, the ability to reliably obtain (and control) sighted assistance when needed is powerful. I am also impressed that the Aira team, which includes blind employees and advisers, is careful not to make assumptions about our needs as users. They train the agents to provide professional customer service and the rest is up to us as users to determine what we need and when. Sometimes its a quick, but essential, transaction, identifying my bag on the airport baggage belt. Sometimes more detailed, sorting out visual indicators on a piece of technology. And sometimes private, which papers do I need for taxes. Price is admittedly a sore point and one that I hope to help Aira decrease through broadening financial support mechanisms.
Is Aira Available In Canada
I guess the subject says it all. LOL I know the app can be downloaded in the Canadian app store, but is the service actually available in Canada?
I'm an aira explorer and love
I'm an aira explorer and love it. I participated in a presentation January of this year. I got permission to record it and do a podcst. Ahere it is.
I think the price is worth it
I think the price is worth it. I might make the suggestion though that if you know you have wifi networks or a good cell plan that you can opt out of the hotspot thereby reducing the cost of the plans if you want to.. I've ben using it now for two day and I can already say this. Wow! Just, wow! I was able to get help installing printer inc by myself. I have not dine this before, normally my dad does it for me and talks me through the set up. I was able to do it by myself and it took about an hour, but it was very much worth it. I'm ready to take my
a few questions for the Aira team and users
First of all let ,me just say that I do not think the price is unreasonable; to be honest, I wonder if the financial model is even sustainable for Aira in the long run. Now to my questions.
What is the battery life on the compatible headsets while using Aira? I don't know much about Google Glass, but from what I remember the first version had pretty short battery life, and I would think it would go pretty quickly if you were on a cellular connection, per forming what is basically a video call.
Question two, how much lag or delay do users typically experience when communicating with the operators? The description of the app mentions mobility, but I can't see how this service could be trusted for many mobility tasks. We have all used Skype and Face Time, and we all know how badly those services can lag. Even a lag of a few seconds could have very bad results if users were depending on this app for mobility.
I'm looking forward to any answers to my questions, Perhaps I am missing something when it comes to the mobility part of the service.
?Aira is the most revolutionary product for blind people to come along in quite some time. Aira makes it possible to truly get any information not available to blind persons via any other means. While it is true that constant use of the iPhone can cause some additional battery drain I find that my use of the phone for Aira is not sufficiently diminished to cause concern. It is true that Aira has some user costs associated with it. However, like any new product costs will decrease over time and the product will be easier to use and less costly to operate. I urge people to try Aira, and then decide whether or not They are ready to use Aira. The product is cool and it's users say they find it most helpful, usable and worth the price.
I am very happy the AIRA team are replying!
Hello Aira team.
To answer your question, I am using the latest version of NVDA with the latest version of firefox.
I went to check the pricing one more time and was placed on a heading about canciling the monthly subscription when ever you want. I'm not sure what's wrong with firefox or the site but I am unable to brows to the prices.
I am really glad people are getting a huge use out of this product but it's not for me.
I am on the waiting list to become an explorer and am curious what it will bring to my life. I don't believe the subscriptions are over priced, as hiring a reader for say ten dollars an hour can be costly too depending on what you want done. Like someone else pointed out, I too think it would be a good thing to create plans that don't come with the hotspot device, bringing the price down for those who don't need the extra data.
Battery life for the glasses
Battery life for the glasses is about 160 minutes. Actually I did use it a bit for mobility. Latency is quite good, almost 0.
Now I woudl be careful with the word mobility. If they are not beein g too detailed you can make it work. They might say the path curves to the right in a way to give you time to make that judgment call so really I find no issues with it.
160 minutes. , ok thanks.
The big question that no one is asking...
Do the glasses look cool?
I think that this is a great idea. Be my eyes is good but it's also based on volunteers and, working for a charity, I know how varied in quality and reliability volunteers can be. Here, they are accountable, there is a legal obligation to provide a service of a certain quality.
I like the idea of an on call personal assistant, perhaps that should be their marketing angle, just so happen's I'm a copywriter, drop me a message... But if they can order taxis, perhaps make appointments and set reminders etc, whilst providing info about environment, giving verbal guidance and feedback and a sense of security when pottering about town in a new area... I think it's great.
Saying all that, it's expensive, but if they could open up the feature set and pitch it as a PA service too, basically using your minutes as you see fit... That would be pretty good.
As I understand, it's a young company, they're finding their feet and, I really believe that it's not a start up that has gone, hey, let's get a nice fat chunk of the money dished out for disabled people to use on accessibility or similar grants... As I believe certain developers are now doing.
Good luck, will be interested to try when it's in the UK.
Can you rate how hot a woman is for me?
Lol! Hehahahaha to the last
Lol! Hehahahaha to the last question youasked. Um? I don't think the agent will do that, that of corse is subjective. Anyway all joking aside, I used the service now twice and installed my printer inc by myself, with inc all over my hands (gross) but we got the printer set up. I dunno how we could have gotten it set up using a touch screen thoug, if it did have one, but maybe one day I will find out.
Signed Up Today
I had heard about this product from a friend and colleague awhile back, and saw this entry, and decided to give it a go. I had a couple questions to add to the mix. Is this Mifi hotspot only meant to be used for the device or could I conceivably use it to link up to my phone and get help from another service like BeMyEyes when Aira agents are unavailable? I am currently with Sprint and I was traveling in a rather rural area where I could not get an adequate connection for BeMyEyes volunteers to be able to see the video. It would be useful to have the option to use the data connection in certain circumstances, such as the one I described.
Perhaps I missed this, but I was wondering if there was a price per minute if one went over their allotment for the month.
How much time can I spend with an agent at any given time? Would I be able to, say, head into the supermarket and do my own shopping? What about watching a movie and getting descriptions of what's happening on the screen? Will I be able to sit down and play a game of Candy Crush, at last?
I'm looking forward to regularly using the service soon. I literally finished creating my account a few minutes ago, so hopefully the suspense doesn't kill me.
That sounds great. Could you keep us in the loop, provide your user journey from zero to ninja? As I'm in the UK I can't actually test it out so it's not just me being tight as a clam...
All the best and good luck.
PS... Yes, how hot a girl is subjective however, I could give parameters, hight, smiliness, hair lenght and colour, whether she's Scarlet Yohanson... Unlikely in the south west of England, but hey, she gotta be somewhere...
Yes, I will definitely keep you all posted about the journey. And if I go to the grocery store and encounter a nice-sounding vixen, I'll ask the agent whether she is as gorgeous as I am! On second thought, if they say that she is fairer than I, these glasses might go for an unintended trip out my second-story window. :D
On the web site using both
On the web site using both NVDA and JAWS and even voiceover on the iPhone, i can't see what the plans are. I'm using the latest of everything, windows ios and NVDA, i have jaws 17. Haven't tried it on macOS but am not very hopeful as i can't access the same info anywhere else, but here's hoping.
Trouble Viewing Websites
I thought I would throw this out there. I was having trouble viewing websites too, and come to find out that my antivirus was blocking certain pages from loading properly. I had tried with multiple screen readers and multiple browsers, and didn't put 2 and 2 together till I had a friend load the same page without an issue. For the record, the antivirus program I was using was Daily Safety Check, which incorporates the BitDefender antivirus engine. I can't guarantee that this will address your issue, but am sharing this to illustrate that it may not be related to accessibility.
Activated Glasses on Wednesday
I'm writing in with my promised update. I received the glasses last week, and my glasses were activated on Wednesday. So far, I have been enjoying them. I used them to do the following:
* Went for a leisurely walk, explored nearby buildings, entered one, checked out the murals on their walls, and picked up a pamphlet
* Entered a restaurant and seated myself by following the hostess, read the menu, and (while glasses were off) remembered where I was seated in relation to the door and found my way out
* Cooked up some delicious pork chops (and was able to have several going in the pan at once for the first time), and flipped them using a spatula and fork when we couldn't locate the tongs
* Played a game of Angry Birds and scored 50k+ points on the second try at the Halloween level
For the record, I am totally blind. It has been pretty impressive. It costs a bit of money, but I will be making room in my budget for the service.
Aira Is The Future We've Been Waiting For
The service speaks for itself; you have to try it to really appreciate what it can do for you.
Here is my review on Aira:
I love this service!
I've only had the service a couple of weeks and already it has made a positive difference for me.
I have only used it a half dozen or so times but every experience with it has been pleasant and positive and I look forward to using it again and again.
At present I am only subscribed for the 100 minutes a month basic plan, but if I find I need more time, based on my experiences so far, I won't hesitate to move up to a higher level plan.
Way to go! Aira!
I second the question asked by Big Cat earlier - does anyone know how the glasses look? It would be good to know whether or not you end up looking like Geordi La Forge by wearing these things.
I also am curious if there is an option for a tinted/sunglasses version for those of us with light sensitive residual vision. Looking on the site I can't seem to find anything that describes the glasses in any detail.
Hopefully they will consider a pay-as-you-go model too at some point. I would rather pay for a bucket of minutes that I could use up and then buy more, rather than commit to a subscription. I guess this would probably require the user to buy the glasses upfront though.
Similar to Aviators
The glasses I got resemble Aviator sunglasses in their styling so, no, you won't look like Jordi while wearing them.
Using the light meter of the Colorino, I determined that the lenses are tinted, but apparently not by much as they barely effect the very little light sensitivity I have left.
The camera is in a long thin case mounted to the right temple, and the part of the same temple that goes behind the ear contains the batteries. Despite the camera and batteries both being on the same side of the glasses, they don't feel unbalanced while wearing them.
During my initial set up session after getting the glasses, I got the impression that they use a couple of brands of glasses, so if you have specific needs, I'd call them to see if a particular brand would be better suited to you rather than just accepting what ever they send you.
Although you can sign up for the service online at their web site, there will be an initial call where they'll ask you if you want the glasses or just plan to use your phone ala Be My Eyes. During this call you can find out what your options are as far as the glasses go.
If you have a sighted friend or family member, perhaps they can look at this picture and describe them for you.
new aira explorer
hi their, I just signed up for the aira service last week on wednesday and wow, all I have to say is what a difference it has been for me in the short time i've been using it. before, i've had to have uber and lyft drivers get out of their vehicles and come in to where ever I was to find me, now, with aira, I have found three vehicles with out having to have a driver come in to the building and find me, looked up a menu and got the information about what kinds of chicken sandwiches their were at burger king, read several pieces of mail with no bad results from apps, walked in to a red lobster to a host stand and found a table, and even got to my seat in the movie theater all with out sited guide and using aira. what an incredible service this is, and to me the price is well worth the bit of money i'm out every month.
Hey everyone! So I am from
Hey everyone! So I am from the UK, and I met up with a friend who was visiting for lunch. He let me have a go using Aira, and I think it’s incredible! We used it to help us get from our table in the restaurant through london Victoria train station and down to the platform on the underground train system. It was incredible! I am not very confident navigating around busy places, so I loved it today! I have checked on aira’s website, and if you select a plan and go to fill in your details, it says the available countries are the UK, USA and Canada. I wonder if we can definitely get it over here? If that is the case, then i’ll Definitely be subscribing at least to the basic package, it’s incredible!
I contacted the Aira team.
Sorry but Aira isn't availible according to the email I got back from them. They're working on it but it's not hear yet.
Well, I emailed them
Well, I emailed them yesterday, and they are working on a beta program for the UK. They are also working on one for Australia. I told them, that I am interested, and they are going to send me a form. They are launching in Canada in May. :-)
Aira is great, but
Aira is great, but it has a lot of maturing to do. The problems I've encountered are:
1. The equipment I got from them doesn't work, I've been complaining about it for over a month and Aira doesn't seem inclined to do anything about it.
2. There is no way to accurately track your usage. Aira acknowledges that the app has bugs that cause it to report more minutes used than are actually used, but it's even worse than that. There are four reports of minutes used available, the main usage screen's total minutes used, the main usage screen's minutes used by user, the detailed usage report, and Aira themselves, no two of them ever match in the number of minutes used being reported.
3. Ocassionally, you might need an Aira agent to take control of your computer, for example to help with a web page that isn't fully accessible, you would think that the Aira service would have a standardized remote control program they use, but no, each agent uses the remote control program they like, so if you want to have remote control capability regardless of the agent you connect to, you'll have to install three or more of these remote control programs. Ridiculous!
When you need tech support, most of the time nobody answers, so you have to leave a message, but they never return your call.
All of this is simply unacceptable for a paid service, so I am going to cancel my subscription, wait six months to a year, then try them again to see if the situation has improved. In the meantime I'm going back to Be My Eyes, it isn't perfect either, but at least with Be My Eyes, you aren't paying for those imperfections like you are with Aira.
Update from Aira as at December 2018
Hi once again from Aira.
I'm Jonathan Mosen, VP of Explorer communications at Aira. One of the cool things about working with Aira is that the service is constantly being improved due to your feedback. Since it's been a while since we've posted in the comments on this App Directory entry, here's a bit of a "State of the Service" update as at December 2018.
First, for those who were deterred by the cost of Aira, the app is now free to use for an increasing number of tasks, and in more locations. This is thanks to a program we call Aira Access. With Aira Access, the business sponsors the use of Aira, so it's free for you to use.
Locations include airports, a range of stores and college campuses.
In terms of tasks, thanks to our partnership with Intuit QuickBooks, the Aira app is now free to use in any location for any task relating to small businesses whose owners are blind or low vision.
We also have a partnership with Vispero, who make JAWS and ZoomText among other products.
It is free to register with Aira as a guest. You can then keep the app on your iPhone in case you are in an Aira Access location or want to perform a task that is covered free by one of our partners. If you find yourself in an Aira Access location, we'll send you a push notification to tell you.
Second, it's cheaper to try us out for your own tasks. As many people have requested, we now offer handset-only plans, starting at $29 USD per month. This means you can give us a try with a much smaller outlay of funds than before.
Third, although when the app directory was created it wasn't possible for Deaf Blind people to use the app, I'm pleased to say that's no longer the case. We've introduced a feature called Aira Messages. It has many uses, one of which is that a Deaf Blind Explorer can communicate via a Braille display with a professionally trained agent, who will text back. This is all done within the app, so it's like being in a chat window and is efficient. You can also pre-program commonly used messages to speed the process up even further.
Finally, Aira offers a way to broadcast your Aira sessions. It's a social network of sorts called Aira Live. When an Explorer chooses to, they can make their session public for anyone to hear on the Aira Live tab within the app, or they can "go live" and protect it with a PIN. All someone needs to do to listen is register as a guest. This is great for sharing descriptions of conferences when several blind or low vision attendees are in the room. It could be used to read restaurant menus to several blind guests at once. or it could just be used to share a visit to an exciting attraction with friends.
There's a lot more going on, so do feel free to download the app, even if you don't think you want to pay for the service just now. You'll find it's still very useful.
The entry has been updated.
The entry has been updated to reflect recent changes.
Thanks for the reminder.
Sounds great. What about if you need to use the service for several minutes and not for more than 30 minutes? I learn to cook without having to need help and the only way I see me using is if I am looking for something. For example the exercise room in my building so I can find the equipment. Particular building but I tend to find it without ever using similar thing. The price probably OK but there are some who are getting SSA benefits and not enough money for it. Question. I can not use any type of glasses because my left ear does not work and I can not put the hook of the glasses. Are there glasses that go around?
Hi Holger, some Aira tasks are completed in only a minute or two. Think of Aira's plans like a cell phone plan. When you have 30 minutes, you can use those 30 minutes all on one call, or for 15 two minute calls if you want. How you use those minutes is up to you.
If glasses aren't an option for you, you can use your phone camera and your smartphone. hope that helps.
as I understand it though if
as I understand it though if you don't use all your minutes in a month any you don't use basically go to waste you lose them and can't bank them so basically you might as well have set fire to your money, same say if you have a period in a month where you pay for it and don't use it at all.
If someone is that un independent that they need several hundred minutes from aira you have to wonder if they should be living in sheltered accommodation or something.