A brand new technology, making the world instantly more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision, is now available in Australia and New Zealand through a partnership between Vision Australia and US based start-up Aira.
The launch of Aira (pronounced eye-ruh) in Australia and New Zealand was announced today by Aira Vice President Sales and Marketing Kevin Phelan at an exclusive event where more than 15 Vision Australia clients and staff trialled the new technology.
“In partnership with Vision Australia we’re really proud to be launching Aira today, in the first location outside the USA,” Mr Phelan said.
“As the fastest growing assistive technology company in the world, we’re thrilled to be able to offer this service to all explorers in Australia and New Zealand, and to announce that when an explorer is in any Vision Australia office, the service will be free.”
Using wearable smart glasses or a smart phone that beams live stream footage, Aira connects people who are blind or have low vision to a trained professional agent who then becomes their ‘eyes’, helping to navigate the built environment, colour match clothes, read a whiteboard, navigate a worksite, travel with confidence and so much more.
“Aira promotes greater independence and access for people who are blind or have low vision because you get immediate assistance for almost anything you want to do without a sighted person nearby. It is access to information, anytime, anywhere,” Mr Phelan said.
“We’ve partnered with Vision Australia because they’re the leading national provider of services to people who are blind or have low vision and are a great fit for us in the Australian and New Zealand market.”
Vision Australia Manager Government Relations Chris Edwards said, “We know this technology can assist people who are blind to experience a more accessible environment when out and about, particularly in busy areas such as airports, train stations and shopping centres.
“We hope that from here, businesses and Governments committed to providing safe environments will partner with Aira and Vision Australia to sponsor this vital service in their own building, centres and communities, making it accessible for people who are blind or have low vision,” Mr Edwards said.
Explorers, or users of the technology, who download Aira will be able to use the service from 9pm to 3pm, seven days a week.
Explorers can download the app from the App Store or Google Play using the code VisionAustralia. For $89, explorers will receive 100 minutes of use and glasses can be purchased separately.
For more information visit Aira and call 1300 84 74 66.