UCSD offers new service to blind students

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Blind and vision-impaired members of the UC San Diego community now have access to pioneering technology that helps blind students see, or at least more easily navigate campus life.

The technology, Aira, was developed in San Diego by a former UCSD student.

Jimmy Cong, the first student to use the service, says it’s a game changer.

Using wearable technology like smart glasses combined with artificial intelligence and live human agents, Aira delivers real-time visual descriptions to people who are blind or have low vision. Once the software is downloaded to a smartphone, the user is connected to a professionally trained agent who delivers visual assistance anytime and anywhere. The human agent, working remotely, is a visual interpreter helping the user with every facet of their of their life, from navigating busy streets to recognizing faces to traveling the world.