Wegmans Combines Mobile App, Human Assistance To Guide Visually Impaired Shoppers

Wegmans, a supermarket chain based in the Northeast, has implemented a combination of technology and human assistance for blind and low-vision shoppers, to make their shopping experience easier across all its 97 stores.

All Wegmans stores are now Aira Access Locations, giving any member of the blind and low-vision community free access to Aira’s service while in Wegmans stores.

Aira, powered by AT&T, is a San Diego-based startup that makes use of wearable technology, AI and live human assistance to deliver real-time visual descriptions for people who are blind or have low vision. Using a smartphone or a pair of smart glasses, an Aira “Explorer” can connect to a remotely located trained professional who can provide assistance on-demand using a live camera stream, GPS, maps and information sourced from the web.

Blind and low vision shoppers can download the Aira app on their smartphone and use it to connect to a remote, sighted agent to access information on-demand. Aira agents can help shoppers navigate the store, find specific items, read labels on products and identify the shortest checkout lines — all at just the touch of a button.

“These agents are highly trained, and I like to call them the ultimate detective,” said Linda Lovejoy, Community Relations Manager for…