Aira, along with tech leaders Moovit and Azure Maps, have joined forces to make public transit in and around urban areas more inclusive for blind and low vision riders and others by bringing together the technological expertise of each company to remove barriers that people with vision loss face in accessing public transport. The service is now active in cities across the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Aira, a company that describes itself as 'on a mission to provide instant access to information to anyone', runs a service that connects people who are blind, have low vision, or are simply ageing to the digital world, using real, highly-trained professionals to provide visual information on demand via a mobile app or smart glasses.
Through the app or glasses, Aira connects users to trained professionals, called Aira Agents, who can see a user’s environment through their mobile camera. This allows agents to describe objects, read signage, provide navigation, take and label photos, and much more. Moreover, in locations where Aira Access is enabled, users can connect to Aira free of charge, for as long as they need to accomplish a task. This includes municipalities, corporations, airports, transit authorities, college campuses, and retail – enabling blind, low-vision, and older adults to fully engage and experience the world around them. Aira leverages the geospatial and mapping capabilities from Azure Maps and the transit capabilities of Moovit.
Moovit is the world’s leading urban mobility app for Android and iOS, with half a billion users, and has the largest platform of public transit riders. A key platform content partner with Azure Maps, Moovit was launched in 2011 in Israel and has since become the world’s most popular transit-planning and navigation app, with more than 400 million users and service in 2,700 cities across 90 countries. The company is also a leader in inclusive technology, with innovative work that helps people across the disability spectrum use buses, trains, subways, ride-hailing services, and other modes of public transit. Azure Maps, a Microsoft company, is a leader in cloud computing services.
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