AT&T is diving further in promulgating the Internet of Things. On Wednesday, the telecommunications company announced a partnership with Aira to provide wireless connectivity to wearables for the blind and visually impaired.
It’s estimated that there are 20 million blind people in the U.S., and while most are able to make their way around, there should be ways to improve their independence. Aira is a company that specializes in wearable technology and services so those visually impaired have it a bit easier.
This startup started in 2014 and combines smartglasses, artificial intelligence, and real-time agents. When someone needs assistance, such as when navigating busy streets or recognizing who’s in front of them, they can tap on the wearable to connect to a human agent who can offer assistance.
The AT&T partnership is aimed at ensuring not only that the blind have consistent connectivity, but also that Aira’s team is able to prioritize the data traffic, thereby providing what it hopes will be a “more predictable experience.” Should data congestion occur, this could affect the ability of a service agent to provide timely support to someone in need, perhaps when trying to cross a busy intersection.
“Our provision of wireless connectivity to Aira will bring nearly real-time access and management to their platform. Ultimately, we believe that this should improve the experience for the blind and visually impaired,” remarked AT&T’s president for Internet of Things solutions Chris Penrose in a statement.
AT&T was quick to note that wireless connectivity to Aira is a byproduct of work done through the telecommunications company’s innovation center, called the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health. Doors at this center opened last summer, with the goal to facilitate research and development in the digital health space.