Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is joining a number of airports around the world offering an interesting service for the vision-impaired called Aira. I’ll have more about this in my column next week.
Aira has staff that provide an always-available “OnStar”-like experience for people who use special glasses with a camera in it, or use the camera on their smartphone. The company’s software connects them to agents who use the cameras to see what’s around the user and offer guidance.
The company, based in San Diego, has been offering the service free in a growing number of airports (USA Today story here), most of which seem much bigger than Manchester. It’s a clever place to show off the technology, since a lot of people go to airports, which can be confusing to anybody. As they describe it:
Anyone who is blind or has low vision can use Aira for free at Aira Access airports to get up-to-the-minute flight information, navigate security, use self-service kiosks, find restaurants and services, identify baggage, and more.