Aira Raises $12M to Expand Services for Blind and Visually Impaired

After beta testing technology that provides remote assistant services for the blind, San Diego-based Aira has raised $12 million in a Series B round that it says will enable the company to expand its service to thousands of visually impaired users this year.

Aira takes advantage of the gig economy by connecting online independent contractors (via dedicated wireless bandwidth provided by AT&T) to guide low-vision users equipped with a modified version of Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear. Like an air traffic controller, Aira agents talk to users through a speaker in the eyewear to guide them through their surroundings, read menus, shop, and provide other real-time assistance.

The company developed the service with the help of the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health in Houston. After raising $3.3 million early last year, Aira tested its technology with about 300 users, founding CEO Suman Kanuganti said Thursday afternoon. They include Erich Manser, who used Aira’s technology to help run the Boston Marathon in April. Continue reading

Nuance Accessibility Suite Released

We proudly announce the release of the Nuance Accessibility Suite – Nuance TALKS and ZOOMS – Version 5.00 supporting Series 60 3rd Edition / 5th Edition for March 31st, 2010.

Talks User Manual

This release uses the same version of Eloquence as the previous one (6.1.123). The TTS installation files for Eloquence have only been updated to mark them as supporting 5th Edition, and the user dictionary for US English has been extended. Continue reading

TEAMWORK IN ACTION — IT DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS

The Role of Teamwork in Technological Innovation

When I am contacted by meeting planners, corporations, and members of Associations about speaking at their events I am most often asked if I can speak about teamwork and team building. As a keynote speaker I can tell you that this is indeed a subject which seems to be on the minds of company executives, workers, and to some degree most of us. We all seem to value highly the idea of working together. During companywide and executive retreats often times there will be some sort of “team building exercise.” Management constantly talks to staff about “the Team.” Many books have been written on the subject. Continue reading