Minneapolis Using App to Help Visually Impaired Maneuver in Four Locations

Minneapolis has made the four "geo-fenced" locations available on the Aira app for free. Aira is available on any iOS or Android phone by downloading the mobile app and registering.

The city of Minneapolis, site of the AIHce EXP 2019 trade show in May 2019, is now using an app that helps people who are blind or have low vision get around Nicollet Mall, City Hall, Target Center, and the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The city reported that the Aira app uses smart technology to connect users with human agents who are trained professional guides. The agents access the user's smartphone camera (or Aira glasses) for a live video feed combined with GPS and maps so they can describe these public spaces and help users maneuver through them and also more richly experience what they have to offer.

Minneapolis has made the four "geo-fenced" locations available on the Aira app for free. Aira is available on any iOS or Android phone by downloading the mobile app and registering. As soon as users enter an Aira access location, they will receive a notification and can use Aira for free any time while in the Aira access location (for example, in Minneapolis, on Nicollet Mall or in City Hall, Target Center, or the Minneapolis Convention Center).

The city's April 25 announcement described Aira as a service that connects people who are blind or have low vision to highly trained, remotely located agents.

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