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Check this out: Wegmans offers help to visually-impaired shoppers

U.S.
8/29/2018

Wegmans Food Markets has become the first supermarket chain in the United States to offer free access to Aira, a San Diego-based startup that uses wearable technology, artificial intelligence, and live, human assistance to provide real-time visual description for people who are blind or have low vision.

A blind or low-vision shopper can download the Aira app, register as a guest and use the service at no charge in any Wegmans location. The app enables a user to connect to a remote sighted agent who can help the shopper navigate the store, find specific items and identify the shortest checkout line via live camera stream, GPS, maps and information sourced from the web.





“At Wegmans, we are committed to providing incredible customer service to all our shoppers,” said Linda Lovejoy, community relations manager for the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer. “Our partnership with Aira helps us deliver on this commitment, giving our blind and low-vision customers access to this innovative service and the ability to navigate our stores easily and efficiently.”

Though Wegmans is its inaugural supermarket partner, the Aira Access Network already encompasses hundreds of campuses, workplaces and venues, in addition to 20 major U.S. airports in cities such as Boston, Houston and Seattle.

Wegmans operates 97 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

A version of this article appeared at ProgressiveGrocer.com.

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