New Aira system helps blind 'see' with help of connected guides

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
System helps blind "see" with help from guides
The Aira system lets the blind "see" by livestreaming their surroundings to a person who can describe the sights by phone.

WEST COVINA, Calif. (KABC) -- Steven Cantos has been blind his whole life, but thanks to technology by Aira, he can now see by wearing a pair of glasses connected to wireless internet and dialing a phone number.

Customers like Cantos, his brothers Nick and Leo and their father Ollie - all blind - pay for minutes.

Plans with the San Diego-based company range from $89 to $329 for unlimited minutes per month.

An agent at a remote location sees a livestream via camera on the glasses. Through Steven's phone, the agent guides the 18-year-old through his grandmother's home.

"Definitely a nice house. This is impressive. Didn't realize how impressive it would be, man, she's good. I didn't realize we had a Jacuzzi and all this," Steven Cantos said after getting the Aira-guided tour.

Cantos has met his grandmother many times including a visit to her West Covina home, but on this trip, he's seeing and learning about her in a whole new way.

"This is for me the epitome of hard work and dedication. Considering the view. She likes it fancy, you know. Fancy stuff," Steven Cantos said.

Steven's grandmother, Linda Cantos says "the Aira technology makes them more independent than ever before."

From Arlington, VA the Cantos family is in Southern California for the Christmas holiday. Aira agents are available from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week.

Whether it's looking at family photos and heirlooms or taking a trip to Disneyland, the Cantos family plans to take Aira everywhere they go.

"Experiencing Aira for all of us is so good because we have something we can now use to see our lives a little bit more," said Steven Cantos.