Freedom With Aira

I signed up with Aira a week or two ago and have just been using it
around home. Things like identifying packages in our mail room, taking
pictures of cats etc..

Today I went to CVS here in Kansas City to get my booster shot & had
planned in advance to use Aira & it was a sense of freedom that I have
not felt in a long time.

I took Uber from our apartment to CVS & once I felt us driving into the
parking lot, I opened Aira on my Nokia X100 and told the agent that we
are pulling up to CVS and that I need help in getting from Uber to
inside of CVS. She held on until I was getting out of the car. At this
point, the Uber driver asked if I needed help getting inside. I was so
happy to say I've got someone connected to my phone that is going to
help me do that.


This is an issue I've had for years as a guy who is totally blind. Sure
a Taxi, Uber, Lyft or someone can get me to an address, but which way do
I go from there? In the past that meant for someone to guide me into the
store or restaurant, except of course not as much when I had a guide Dog
& generally knew where the door was.


The agent asked me to move my phone to the left a little bit and walk
forward. Next she had me turn to the right and I'd be approaching the
first set of automatic doors. I heard the automatic doors open.

The agent had me move a little left or right, I was so happy that I
really don't remember right now.

I went through the second set of automatic doors and told the agent that
I need to either find someone who can help me get to the pharmacy or
wondered if she could try. Remember, this is the first big use of Aira I
had done so far. She asked me to hold my phone up a little higher as she
thinks she saw the pharmacy.

We navigated some aisles at CVS and this felt amazing. To me, it was
like that very first walk with a guide dog, for those who have
experienced that feeling of freedom before.

I was being told when to move left or right, and to be aware of nearby
things in the store.

We worked around the area back by the pharmacy and I was at the counter
as the agent told me this.

She said nobody was there at the moment but to wait there and someone
should be there soon. We ended the call and a minute later, the pharmacy
person was there to help me get checked in.


It was the same great feeling after waiting my 15 minutes after my
booster shot. I opened the Aira app, got an agent & told them I am at
CVS, back in the pharmacy section and needed help in getting outside to
take an Uber home.

We navigated around the pharmacy, moving left or right, turning and
moving the phone to the left or right as the agent was looking around.

She had me turn right and was telling me things we were passing in the
store.

I soon heard the sound of the automatic doors to my right as she had me
make one last turn.

We went through the second automatic door and I was outside. I
disconnected from the Aira agent who helped me feel freedom for the
second time today.

My Uber driver soon arrived and I was soon on my way home, only about a
5 minute ride from CVS to my apartment.


I am moving in the first week of February and packages will be in a room
near the leasing office, some placed in a locker with the password being
sent to me. I'll be using Aira allot in traveling between my new
apartment & the leasing office. Also, now that my Wife is working full
time from home, I'll be handling all of those errands that she used to
do. Picking up prescriptions, running to get an item at a store, or
picking up meds for one of our cats. I know that I can get from the door
of a Lyft or Uber, get inside, navigate to where I need to go, and get
back outside again to come home, all without depending on someone else
to help me.

This is a sense of freedom that until today, I haven't had in years. It
really does remind me of the freedom I experienced with a guide dog, in
being able to walk to a nearby grocery store when I could shop a couple
of days at a time or while at work, navigating a two building office
complex with about 3,000 employees.

The difference is with using Aira, I can just get up and go.

Thats just one of the many things Aira can do. Did I mention cat pictures?

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