This pair of smart glasses can help the blind navigate the streets with great ease

assistive technology to help the blind navigate the streets – Aira Visual Interpreter
assistive technology to help the blind navigate the streets – Aira Visual Interpreter

This is actually a smart solution. The Aira Visual Interpreter is a service that helps the blind or the visually impaired move around and navigate the streets with ease and without running into danger. First of all, watch this video that explains how the Aira Visual Interpreter service can help people with visual impairment:

As you can see, Aira is a mix of human involvement and technology. These days every smartphone allows you to live stream your surroundings. The service also has a smart glass on the lines of Google Glass

The video shows a person with visual impairment walking on the road wearing the smart glasses from Aira. While walking he comes across a hurdle that he cannot make out. He presses a button on the glasses and he immediately gets connected to an Aira helper. The Aira helper makes him give her a sense of his surroundings and according to the feedback from the camera of the glasses, she can tell him where to turn and which direction to take and she even helps him get on board a train.

The entire thing is happening in real time and you feel as if you’re walking by the side of the person you are trying to help.

Since the Aira Visual Interpreter is a service where humans are involved, one has to buy the time in order to use the service. In the US, a blind person can buy 750 minutes of Aira Visual Interpreter help for $300, 3000 minutes of assistance for $ 1000 and 10,000 minutes of help for $2500.

For India it would be expensive, but this can easily be run as a volunteer service using current resources available. The service can also be divided among volunteers and family members and friends.

In fact, this is a very good idea. Multiple video streaming apps are available these days. You can do video chatting using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Duo.

For example, a person with visual impairment is on the road and cannot make out what to do. She can make a video call to one of her friends or family members and then direct the camera of the phone (initial training will be required, naturally) and the person on the other side can guide her about where to go and what to avoid. I wonder if this method is already being used by the blind. If not, someone should try and see how it works.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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