Memphis International Airport (MEM) has announced a partnership with technology company Aira that will provide expanded services for blind or low-vision passengers.
Through the new program, passengers at MEM access the Aira Airport network powered by its Site Access technology and connect with professional agents who act as visual interpreters.
Wearable Aira smart glasses or the traveler’s phone camera work with the Aira app to enable the passengers to share views of their surroundings and interact with the agent. With a live view of surroundings, crowd flow, signage or other objects from the traveler’s perspective, Aira agents deliver a real-time narrative to the traveler using an augmented reality dashboard. The service enables navigation through the airport and provides assistance with other tasks such as flight information, locating and identifying baggage and arranging transportation.
Aira provides subscription-based services to its customers, who purchase minutes similar to that of a cell phone plan. However, MEM’s partnership with Aira means the airport will offer free usage of the Aira service while travellers are at the airport.
”We’re proud to announce this partnership with an innovator like Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority,” said Kevin Phelan, Vice President of Aira. “As today’s fastest growing assistive community for the blind or low vision population, we focus on delivering immediate, accurate information anytime and anywhere. With the dynamic nature of traveler information, needs to quickly adjust to schedule or gate changes and challenges of moving through a crowded terminal, this is a perfect fit for what we do.”