HOUSTON— Navigating airports can be a rough time for blind and low vision travelers, but on Feb. 8 Houston area airports became some of the most accessible airports in the country for the visually impaired.
Bush and Hobby airport will provide free access to Aira, a new service that helps blind and low vision travelers see from smart glasses, and instantly have access to the eyes of a trained professional.
"We move all 55 million [travelers] the same way, and that is what today is all about, and we are super excited to join Aira to continue this movement of ensuring that all of our passengers move with ease,” said Jesus Saenz.
"It's just a simple pair of wire framed glasses with a camera on the front. A person gets the glasses and we also send them an AT&T hotspot device and then they just turn it out click a button on our Aira app on their smart phone, and it connects them via a live video feed to a real life person somewhere in the states, who can see exactly what they are looking at and where they are and assist them with anything they would like information about,” said Aira Agent Analyst Emily Hill.
The agent can help Aira users with the usual task of traveling, such as finding your luggage, reading boarding passes, and arranging your transportation.
The winner of Master Chef Season 3, Christine Ha, lost her vision in her twenties and now uses Aira. “My first experience using it was on the streets of San Diego when I was trying to find a coffee shop, and I was able to cross the street independently and find the coffee shop, get in a line and buy some coffee, so that was a really empowering experience for me,” said Ha.
Users of the smart glasses aren't the only ones happy with the product. “There is nothing more fun than getting to live a thousand different lives in a single day. You never get bored with what you're doing every call is different every place is different every person is different and we really get to live all of that,” said Hill.