How this Google Glass app is helping give sight to my blind aunt

Wendy Poth, my aunt, lost her sight when she was 7. She’s now completely blind, so she doesn’t see shadows, faces or even the darkness when she closes her eyes.

Wendy, who’s now in her 60s, has lived an independent life as a therapist and trained social worker. These days, she’s a die-hard technology enthusiast and is rarely seen at home without her Apple Watch Series 3, Amazon Echo and iPhone, which she uses to get news updates, call friends and track her daily activity.

So I wasn’t surprised to learn that Wendy signed up to be among the first to try out a new product for the blind and partially sighted called Aira.

Here’s how it works:

Wendy puts on a pair of Google Glass, picks up her iPhone and uses Siri to place a call to Aira’s network of “agents.” As we strolled through Kansas City’s downtown plaza, she asked her designated agent — Wendell was his name — how to navigate to a coffee shop and read the menu.

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