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Wegmans offers set of eyes for visually impaired customers

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Wegmans is the first supermarket nationwide to offer service with Aira.
Wegmans is the first supermarket nationwide to offer service with Aira. - ()

Visually-impaired shoppers get an extra set of eyes at Wegmans supermarkets now through Aira, an app that uses wearable technology, artificial intelligence and live human assistance to deliver real-time visual descriptions to shoppers who are blind or have low vision.

Via smartphone or a pair of smart glasses, an Aira user can connect to a trained professional who can provide assistance as needed using a live camera stream, GPS, maps and information sourced from the web to help them out.

Wegmans is the first supermarket nationwide to offer this service through the San Diego-based startup, whose name stands for Artificial Intelligence and Remote Access.

The program was implemented Wednesday at all Wegmans stores, including its nine New Jersey locations in Woodbridge, Bridgewater, Mount Laurel, Ocean Township, Cherry Hill, Princeton, Parsippany, Montvale and Manalapan.

“We always want to provide an incredible customer experience to all shoppers and create access for more people, especially those with disabilities, and Aira represents a great tool through which we can do that,” said Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager. “We’re excited to become the first Aira-enabled supermarket in the nation and to help enhance the independence of people who are blind or have low vision.”

Visually-impaired shoppers can now download Aira for free at aira.io/app.

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Gabrielle Saulsbery

Gabrielle Saulsbery

Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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