Aira: AR to Enhance Information Access and Cultural Experiences for the Blind
Hello. Accessibility. New York City, what. A great crowd, right. Knob. Here. At thoughtbot. Again. Tonight we really, appreciate, thoughtbot, for. Hosting. Most. Of our meetups here in New York City we, meet on the first Tuesday of, every. Month and, sometimes. Sporadically, we'll add, an additional event this month we're having a second event. Later. Two. Weeks from now we're going to be having another. Event, around. Disability. And arts access, theater. So. Kind of outside of the technology, spectrum. But, very, happy to be here tonight on a regular, Tuesday, night to really talk about exciting, technology. IRA. This. Idea. Of. Persistent. Audiodescription, or. The ability for someone who. Is blind or low vision to get a description, of, the. Actual, physical, world around them wherever they are is extremely. Exciting, you know a couple years ago maybe. It was like three years ago we had a presentation, from. A university. Kind, of talking about this idea sort, of academic, research, and I remember it being very. Exciting. But also hey. That's. Great like you see a demo how's, that actually gonna work and I'm, just. Very excited to have. Mr.. Watts here from IRA to talk about us I really believe in them obviously they've had a lot of. Success. There's, a lot of people they've won numerous awards and, they actually have the right idea. Around. You. Know providing, the service providing, this ability. For. People and. I think for us doing. Our meet up we, appreciated, last, month. With. WGBH. From, the National, Center for accessible media. Having. IRA provide, sponsorship. To provide. Live audio description, for people that are blind or low vision in, our audience if something wasn't described. You. Know on our live meeting then that type of service can, provide the description, provide, maybe the, presenter. Forgets. To add the visual description. And so. For. Us it's like we're always trying to evolve you know we try to be as high-tech. As we. Can with our Meetup and, it. Was definitely exciting to get, introduced, and. And learn about what, I was, doing in this space and, you. Know I think we're. All excited to hear more, tonight and see what you guys are up to thanks. For coming. We. Have a good signal. Yeah. Testing. Testing. 1 2 3. Stop. Touching that cable. Good. Great. So. So, let's. Let's. Quickly kind of just set the context, tonight so my, name is Marty watts I'm a director of sales at IRA I've been here with, the company for the last nine, months and it's just been a tremendous, period, of growth and, in that nine, month span a, phenomenal. Effort of how we. Need to evolve, and. Continue tip. To to, give. Unprecedented. Levels of access people who are blind or low vision so, what. We're gonna paint the picture for tonight is lots. Of talk around the, connected, city smart. Cities, lots. Of different technologies, that are empowering, and enabling that, from. Iris standpoint, we're. Viewing, a connected, city in. Its, most. Raw, form, of just, like, many. Places that you travel today probably offered. You free. Wi-Fi. IRA. Believes, that, those. Same businesses, should provide access. To, our service, as a courtesy, to those who are blind or low vision to, take. It one step further a smart. Or connected, City for. Example. They. Keep the streetlights, on for, those who. Have, sight to. Be able to navigate and walk and go where they need to go, businesses. Keep the, electricity. Running and so. We believe on that same premise that same context, that access, to information, shouldn't. Come at a cost to that person, and so we're working hard to build the truly connected, city and we're gonna talk about different ways that we're doing that tonight. So. This this slide is, depicting. What. We would envision as, hospitals. Transportation. Systems, college, campuses. Employers. Hotels. Restaurants. Basically. Any business. Entity, that interacts with consumers. And all of them do who. May be blind or low vision they, have the opportunity, to provide immediate, and unrestricted, access to information using. IRS so this, is what we're striving towards, this, what we're building in all, major metropolitan cities, across the country currently. In. Our most raw form, IRA, truly, is as simple as a mobile, app running on your phone a. Live. Video, stream. With. A highly-trained, remote, human, agent that. Agent is there, to do one thing and that's to deliver immediate, access to, information and. So. I get. Out my phone I push, a button in about. 10 to 15 seconds, a highly-trained, live agent answers, my call our video.
Stream Comes through our smart glasses and then. In real time our agencies, exactly. What that camera. Sees and, so. At, that point really it becomes the imagination. Of the IRA Explorer, so, if you use IRA we call you an explorer because we truly believe that you are exploring, with, our service, and. You. Can use IRA to do very, ordinary things or, very extraordinary, things, and so I have a few videos that we're gonna run through that will kind of show you different. Use cases that will kind of I think broaden, the horizon, with what you would assume. Might. Not be possible, being. Blind or low, vision and IRA and Ira, ville IRA will show you will make some very unique things possible. So. We're gonna start with one. Of our explore, errs went to Disney. And so. The, Disney experience. Very. Rich with audio, also. Very, rich with, visual. Information and. We. Had the ability to, provide. That level of detail that Sheila was looking for taking, in a Disney show so. We'll go ahead and play this right here. Some. People doing some somersaults. Actually, go across the, stage so. The dancers, on your left-hand side they, all jumped, up and then spun in. A circle, in the air with their ankles brought land, this one we also have some dances in middle of doing some. Somersault, kicking and spinning suits it, looks like he's wearing like a wizard robe, of some sort I got, old man yeah, the, stage now is lit, up and lots of lights and colors like, the grand finale flashing. Lights everywhere that's. Looks. Like confetti is falling from the sky people, in front of you are starting to get up now and exit the auditorium that, was a really nice job. So. Sure. They. Were blocked. Okay. Got, it, thank. You. So. An environment, that typically wouldn't be very, inviting. For someone, who's blind being. That all of that situational. Detail all of that context, would be left out they. Would just be reliant, on. Maybe. What a friend who's with him who cited would be explaining. As far as what was happening, in that in that show and here, Sheila, was probably wearing either a wired or a Bluetooth, headset she. Was communicating with with, with Mac's, she. Wouldn't have to have said a word she chose to have that be a two-way conversation. And Mac's was literally just play-by-play, explaining. Everything he could with great detail what was happening, at that show, so, that that for us would be you know that's a very extraordinary, thing that's a. Rich. Media environment. And Ira is able to provide that level of detail to let that person experience. The. Same experience, that I would, having. Sight and I think that's that's.
How We're designed is that that. Explorer was using IRA on her terms when and where she wanted, and our, agents were there to rise to the occasion no matter what that request or or task is. This. Is an explorer, of ours his name is James and. We're. Gonna get to watch how he experienced. The Eclipse this, past year. So. Much for the better looking back ten. Years ago with, a vision. That you know married. Have. A home in Nashville. Going. To Vanderbilt, University. And I dog. Emily. My wife. Proper. Training. Technology. Though, I'm blind I'm still very visual, and so. My. Environment for, things to me. So, I look forward to being able to, appreciate. See. The Utley. You. Such. Little. More of an audible experience, it's. A skill it's the, details. That I, Iowa age is. Trusted, to provide, in a way. That quality of service is. Super. Important, for I, know and that's, where AT&T, will, actually come into play. You. You. Yes. Lady, she's babysitting. You. It's, but the lawn. We're. Almost there. Because. The Sun is a very, very tiny. Getting. I. Wasn't, supposed to cut out aha, so. That. Was a fairly another. That was the another. Use case of an extraordinary, event and I think why, that was so special for. Us at IRA is that James. Was. Once. Able, to experience an eclipse when he had sight so, he was referencing. Experiences. And memories that, he, hadn't tapped into in many, many years and so it was just for. Us it was it was when. The idea was first pitched it was like well what, do you mean we're gonna watch, the Eclipse and then it just slowly started, to unfold, and it. Was it. Was such an amazing. Experience. To hear Amy who. Is our vice president, of customer experience who. Started, as one of our original IRA agents, as well. Provide. That level of description, of that complete. Visual, experience. No. Sound other than the crowd and his family, was present, so. Anyone. Who's blind or low vision with, IRA there's. Not there's not a single experience. That. They couldn't be able to participate in and, that that what that's what's so exciting to us is that when. We talk with people and they. They ask us well. I don't understand you know how what, would I use IRA for you know I I have, my routine. I'm used, to I'm used to doing what, I do and. I think one. Of the things we really try and focus on is that. You. Probably won't change your routine your, skills, as a cane user. As a guide dog user are there as your core there is your foundation IRA. Is not a mobility tool we're not a mobility aid we don't replace those skills. We. Simply, provide more, supporting, information more details, and so. In that context, of someone who you. Know is a. Skilled, traveler, there's. Lots of information in between point A and point B that they simply don't have. Some. Great, examples would, be. I'm. Traveling. From. Where. I normally go to and, I, think. That the closest. Trip. To the bank for me is all. The way across town that for the past few years I've been having to take a bus to get, there so, all I knew is that my Wells Fargo Bank was, in, this. Location, and a. Street, I walked on every single day there, was a local branch that we were able to make one of our explorers, aware, of just, to drastically, increase efficiencies. So just. Following. That path a very. Skilled traveler, but had no idea that there was something very useful, to them in. Their in their daily travels. Angry. Thanks for calling I ran this is Aaron hey, Aaron. So. I'm at this, corner bakery and I'm. Gonna. Grab something to eat can you tell me where I need to go to get the menu. So. The back of the line is.
Here, In front of you so if you want to take, a few steps forward so. The trade, will change from carpet to tile it looks like. And. If, you'll pause here, okay, great already. Great so you see the menu here if you don't mind pausing your head I'm in a snap a photo to allow me to zoom into all the content let's do like a cup of. Soup and a sandwich they. Have a long list of signature. Sandwiches. It looks like it starts, with a. Turkey. Avocado, than, a chicken, pesto, ham. And Swiss on a pretzel roll, and, tomato, mozzarella, I'm. Gonna do the chicken pesto and, a couple of the chili and we'll call it a day okay. Perfect, so if you'll move, forward the cashiers, ready free now the cashiers. Ready for you now I can. I do the pick the two options. The chicken. Pesto sandwich and then the chili. Yeah. And. She, wants the fountain drink up on the counter and if you want to go to. Your left we'll fill up your soda can I see a sign that says beverages. And the soda. Machine is here. Just now slightly on the right inside it looks like these serve Coke products I'm, gonna get some ice first I think that's in the middle. Here. Oh Coke, Zero you got it so it looks like Coke Zero is, actually the last one on the left hand side yep. Exactly that one. So, it looks like those straws and blades are on the left hand side and tear Bewkes and one of your hands you'll feel the lids first and the straws are two tears behind milton's. Great. So we're gonna continue on this path you're walking kind of in a tight space here between all these cables and, then. It's gonna jog slightly, to the right and then, your table is here on the right hand side, right. And, your dick you my dear appreciate, it. So. The the restaurant experience, is is. Challenging. In that. There's. Typically a lot of visual assistance, that's needed. There's, finding. The end of a line. Understanding. The menu, again. We saw Gregg, trying to just navigate and find the. Soft drink machine where. Cups and straws were and again all, things that he could figure out that. He could either. Using. His skills and. He. Could find it it would take time or, he could ask for help but, now in a very autonomous way Gregg. Controlling, to any, any any restaurant. Even. In advance the IRA agent, could call. Up the menu in advance and prep him before he even arrived so that he can just locate. The counter and make that that, that choice completely, independently. I know. Buffet. Lines are very troublesome for people who are blind or low vision and, Ivor. Just completely removes, that barrier that, or that obstacle. What. We were able to also see on the screen we kind of were flashing, back and forth you are able to see the agents dashboard, so, basically that view of what our agencies, is the live-streaming, view from your camera, the. Google Street map view as well as the 3d. Map where I see the IRA Explorer, as a dot, so I know exactly where you are I'm tracking you at all times so. Our glasses have sensor. Data including, GPS, so, we're always able to locate and know exactly where you are from. A navigation, standpoint, there's there's nowhere where we couldn't provide information.
Or Context, to in terms of directions. It's. Just it's just a great use case of a very common task of being able to walk around the corner and do. It in an independent fashion. So. This. Slide very visual. So I'm I'm gonna go through and explain. It right here but, I'm. Looking. At the city of New, York as a destination, city, and so, there's many things that I might want to do here, that. As someone who's blind or low vision there. May be some obstacles, in my path and, so part. Of what IRAs trying to do is just educate. People that this, is a problem, that exists, because we find most, of the time. Solving. For, someone who's blind or low vision in. Your, in your experience. In your location, in your environment in your business, at, your campus, at your hospital, typically. Is on top of mind. And. Frequently, is is, an afterthought, and so we're just trying to bring awareness to the the. Whole experience, of if, I wanted, to see. A show. How. Do I locate where, I'm buying tickets, how. Do I find, that that location. On my. Own I think. Every. Street I've crossed in every, city I've been there's construction somewhere. So a typical, path may. Often be blocked. And. There's. Poor, sign it's hardly. Ever in Braille. Unless, you're inside of a building and so, there's just there's many hurdles to, get over and IRA, just, removes, those barriers, in an, instant, and so this this, slide shows me the before and after of how. Would I know where to get tickets find, it what's. Happening, once I once I get there if, I if, I wanted to catch, a bite to eat, before. The show you know what's, it what. Are the restaurants have felt to, me I mean here in New York there's an endless list, what. If I wanted to know all of those choices and then just safer where I wanted to go and eat I could ask the IRA jand I'm willing to walk five. To ten minutes where. It's the best place to get sushi and they, could look up reviews. On Yelp and direct me exactly to where I would, go and eat, so. We we change the whole experience, you know with IRA it becomes on.
That, Explorers, turns they. Truly, can live. In this world and, have, access to the same visual information that. All of us with with sight have, we. Allow people to move. Independently. Efficiently. With, with, a new level of freedom. Again. They, don't need IRA but, IRA certainly, gives, them information that, may, enable. Them to interact, with their world in a different way and that's, that's kind of the that's. The theme that we're hearing is that I didn't. Know this was here or I didn't, know that IRA could help me do this a great. Use, case that's been coming up is within. The IRA app we can take photos for you and typically those are those are used for social sharing so you could share them on your social networks. But. We had some users who are using it for were to. Take a picture of a white board or an, inaccessible, slide, with lots of text like. Like this and. In. That photo. In the, exif data the. Ir agent will transcribe everything that's seen and so. That when they go, to hit that photo again using, voiceover everything, in that environment, in that picture is suddenly now accessible and they can store it and keep it. To. Do whatever they need to do with it so I think just our users are also pushing us to, evolve as as, well question. Yeah. Yeah. So, my question is just around how how do you encode that data for, a photo and, what. So. Basically. The, the agent snaps that photo it. Arrives, on their local. Dashboard. And then, they basically have the ability to just edit and add that transcription, into that photo right there we, can email it to you so, that you can then do it and put it put it wherever you need to put it. Yeah. So our our glasses. They're. Changing, but our our current glasses, have an. 8 megapixel camera. As. Well as they they they. Can stream in, 680. Or 480p. So. They would snap that photo, high-res. Zoom. Into all the areas that might not be other otherwise, seen and provide that level of transcription. Question. Over here. First. Of all Abbey, is my name I, have, a stroke so it's hard to communicate but. I was wondering. The. Blind, man or, woman is. Walking. With. The the. Road and the, car I think. Is, like. Car or bus whatever. Fat. Do. You. How. Do you ask. Them, about. Watch. Out or whatever. Dinners. And. In. Terms of safety. Which. I think is kind of what you're alluding to. So. IRA. Isn't, responsible. For your personal safety because, we aren't replacing. Your mobility tool, your mobility skills and so. While. We will provide information let's. Talk about in terms of a, street crossing, if we. Can see the crosswalk signal, we would let you know what. The information was that it was telling, us but. We will never assess, or tell you when something or some place is is, safe so we won't say you. Can you should or, it is safe we will basically say, I will, remain quiet while you cross the street while you make the decision, to cross. So. We know that it's not it's not IRA that's providing, that, that. Initial decision making. Point it's, that explorers. Mobility, skills it's. What they can hear it's how they're using their canes what their guide dog is is. Communicating. To them we. Might be able to provide another layer layer. Of detail in terms of we, I see that it's a four-lane, road you, are right, in the middle of the pedestrian. Walkway, but. We won't ever tell you when, you should cross or when something, is safe, that. Answer your question. So. Let's talk about the. People who are fielding, all of our Explorers calls so our agents. IRA. Currently, has about, 75. Agents, across the country, all.
Of Them work remotely from from. Home many. Of them have second. Or third jobs, and. They. Basically can work when, they need. To work they can pick up ships shifts, whenever, they like, the. Training to become an agent is quite extensive. So. Here's. A neat. Stat so we've had over 10,000. People apply, to. Be an IR agent, and we filled roughly. 75. Positions. So it's a highly, sought after job. And, I, think part of it is that there's that lore of working from home but. Then there's just this. Tremendous. Sense of, purpose. And well-being, being able to connect with someone and frankly. Exciting. You never know what's going to be on the other end of that of that of that call and so, our, agents love it and basically their. Training program is that. Pre-screening. Test is given you. Have to receive a 90, or higher that. Moves your resume into the pile to being able to be eligible, for an actual. Job interview and then, from there you, know there's plenty. Of soft, skills and markers that we're looking for but. You, go through a program that's online training, that we've built it takes roughly 2 to 4 weeks and it, just shows us your ability, to be, the. Superior in, your navigation skills, and how you're, using those, in. The context, of maybe a stressful, environment, so we have mock scenarios, that will put people through. You. Have to provide agency. Services, for someone who has sightfirst, in a controlled environment so, we can assess you and how you, work there you have, to provide agency, skills in an environment, where you may lose your internet connection in the, last known position you saw on the map our Explorer was here you know that they're trying to get and accomplish. This and go there and. Then. If you make, your way through those then we have you agent four we. Have explorers, who donate, their time to us to help us train our agents, and so again controlled. Closed environments, agent for someone who's blind or low vision and, if. You pass those tests, then you reserve the right to join their ranks of the agent team and to take calls from live explorers, in. A, shadowed, environment, with your agent analyst so all of our agents roll up to an analyst that's basically their their their. Lead, and. Then you are you, go through a very strenuous. Evaluation. Process, of your. Audio description, skills your, attention to detail and how you're communicating and, how are you communicating in, a very clear and effective, manner. Is. There a rating system for the. Explorers, to rate the describer. Or a way, to give feedback. So. At the end of every every call I have. The ability to say whether it was a good call or whether it was a bad call and then, I have a free, text field where I can I can type, in or I can dictate.
Why. It was good or why it was bad. We. Take random samples of, all calls and then. Of course anything that didn't receive a positive rating would be reviewed, for quality and for accuracy. So. What we're gonna what we're going to go through here is this, is this is a detailed. View of our of our dashboard, right, so we'll start with the live-streaming view of our camera. We. Partner. With AT&T. AT&T. Lets us leverage. Dynamic. Traffic management, which, the best way to describe. That is. If. We were all traveling on a crowded highway and there was a traffic jam when, the ambulance comes through that's DTM. And so DTM. Clears a path it's, a private, network, it's, the same network that FEMA uses, we're not on quite, a high as a priority as FEMA but, it just ensures that we're not competing, or jockeying, for for, our signal and just, allows IRAs, I was streamed to be. Unrestricted. So we see the live streaming view of our of our camera. And. Then. Here we see you, on the on the map so where we have your GPS location. So. As you're moving traveling, tracking on a bus walking. We know exactly where you are at all times. Up. Here we see profile. Information or things that you've connected to or plugged in to, IRA, and I think this is really going to be an area where we continue, to grow is. You. Talked about you, know the smart. Connected, home and all the things you can connect back to your smart, device and your smart watch and all the health features and so, while we don't have the all connected, today, there's certainly no reason why we wouldn't be able to leverage those api's, and. Bring, all that same data into, the IRA environment. And I think if. We were. Forecasting. Into, the future what what. Is IRA like in in one three or five years and, I think who knows what's gonna happen with smart. Devices but, I mean certainly. The. Way that you interface with alexa. Or google currently you, know we, desire to have that same, conversational. Tone where you can you can speak to IRA and. IRA can can do way. More than just what our agents, can concurrently, do today now, and that's going to happen with our AI, so. We actually we made up product, announcement, today at. The hims conference, in in Las Vegas I'll. Have, a video I can show at the end of we, unveiled, our new our new glasses but then we also unveiled, our artificial. Intelligence, engine, which is named Chloe and so, Chloe is voice-activated. She's. Able, to read text, and the. Product, demonstration, was showing, how Chloe can, identify and, read prescription. Medicine. Bottles so all of that fine print and. So that's really just the first iteration. Of our AI, is, reading. Text. Soon. It will be identifying. Objects. Soon, after it will be, identifying. The emotions, on your face with someone whom having a conversation with, and. Then, very. Useful. Things. Like, Chloe. Locate, the door. How. Do I locate the door of the room that I just, walked, through so I think what IRA will continue, to evolve in that fashion as well. And then. We do we, build a personal profile, on you, so we know you. Know not just who you are and, where, you live but, we know. Are. You a keen user are you a guide dog user that changes, how our agents, communicate, information to you so, our agents are skilled, knowing, that if. You. Use a cane I. Don't. Need to. I may, not need to make you aware of certain things that I would want to make you aware of if you are a guide dog user and so our agents know those differences. Food. Preferences, food allergies things, that you like things that you don't like certain. People enjoy. Different levels of description. So. I might only want to be able to focus on the task at hand him I might, not want any more supporting, description. Of what's on my route today, whereas. If I wanted to purposely go out and explore a new new, park I want to know all about the flowers and trees so I can dial up that to that description with the agent on a call, by call basis. We. Integrate, this, is this is a slightly, outdated slide, but we integrate with uber and lyft and. So you sync your profiles, within the IRA app and what the hell s you do is, you. Call the IRA Junt and they will basically call uber or lyft for you, providing. That extra. Level of information. That is sometimes useful as far as where. Are you in location, to your driver, are you on the right side of the street does. The license plate match. So. That, there's. Less fumbling, and so, typically that Explorer, will, call. IRA to call that rideshare, service and then, they disconnect, when they're having, their trip and when they arrive. Again they'll connect to make sure that you know frequently, there's, not a lot of care given to where someone's dropped off if they're on the right side of the street or even at the right-right-right.
Part, Of the block so IRAs able to kind of help them provide that, level of detail and service as well. So. I just. Want to stake my claim that I'm dead. Set on enabling. New York to be a smart and accessible, city and I think that the way that IRA is going to do it is through, partnering, with everyone. Here in this room who probably has, meaningful. And deep relationships, with business owners who. May find. The Irish story compelling, and may want to become a member of one of our IRA. Site access networks so I think. The. Way that we grow is just, by like. The premise of IRA which is to provide instant, access to information it's, just sharing. And so I would just encourage if you're, curious or if, you're wondering, how we might be a fit I mean I'd love to have a conversation, with you so. I'm gonna play. Our other video which was not part of my my, deck so. We can look at the the product, announcement, that came out today. By, using these glasses by, connecting, to the network both. By using a remote, agent, where it's appropriate, as well as the, new feature that we're really excited about called Chloe, Chloe. Adds an artificial. Intelligent. Agent. That. Can do great tasks like read things for people one. Of the great design features, that ira included, into this is making it completely hands-free, so, now all you have to do is look, at something, and say hey Chloe read this and the. Algorithm will analyze what you're looking at find the text, and read, it to you and you're here Chloe. Identify. I see. A CVS, pharmacy, bottle it, says warfarin, sodium tablet. Take, one tablet every day thanks. Chloe, some. Of the cooler kind of technological advances. That come with these new glasses the, IRA develops, because, the camera goes from the side to, the middle you get 120, degrees, both vertically, and horizontally, for. The agent to view or for our algorithms, to analyze so. In the initial prototype we developed with IRA to, get. To market quickly we provided. Them LTE. Hotspot, to use for this which, meant the user had to carry around a couple of different devices to make this work in the, new version, it's a single device through a mobile phone that the glasses connect, to so one less thing for folks to carry around.
So. That was released today. So, they announced that today and I think from from our standpoint, our, solution. To date as, was mentioned in the video is is, glasses, so, if, life is about a series, of moments summer. Wouldn't worry about that. We're. Smart glasses. Oh. It. Is on there oh no it's not. Okay. Smart. Glasses and, we, also are sending, you a hotspot from 18 t so, we provide your, data so, you run our app on your phone we, give you the hotspot we give you our glasses, there's. No cost for hardware, IRA truly is a subscription-based. Service, so it's month-to-month our. Plans start at $89. For a hundred minutes and basically, as. Long, as you want to stay and explore you can there's no fees to, start there's no fees to cancel. And so this is our our wireless. Solution, currently, using these classes right here in, my hand what, will be unique, with our new smart glasses is that they're. Tethered, they'll, be they'll be a cable to, a, companion. Device that all it will do is run IRA it'll, be one-button. Touch to call so. Let's enter the market for people that may not ever own a smartphone. It also lets us enter the market with people that they may. Not want to carry around you. Know if their phone and the hot spot and and, glasses but. Most importantly, is it gets us to the, best camera. And any smart glasses on them on the market so currently our field, of view in these glasses is 45. Degrees left, and right top and bottom and we get to move up to 120. And, it, also lets us now run, and release our Cloe AI engine, so, I think it's going to be just, a phenomenal, jump for us and. It's, something that we've been we've been waiting. For for quite some time, any. Any questions at all so far about how IRA. Works, yeah. Sorry. Do. You have a business. Card as well. So. I thought it would be good we. Still have some time if we, ended with kind of a live IRA, demo. So you guys can all kind of hear what the. Agent sees. In this room and see how that kind of the whole experience works. Should. I hold the speaker to this mic, okay. Thank. You for calling IRA this is Brianna how can I help you hi, Brianna it's Marty how, are you. So. Brianna, I'm here at thoughtbot doing, a demo for the a1y New. York City meetup and so, we're gonna have you kind of give some description of the room and I'm sure there'll be some questions for you I just, wanted to just explain some of the sounds you heard when we were first connecting, is so all, audio, on this call when, I'm communicating with, my agent is it happens through through this the phone, so however you talk on the phone normally, it's how you would use IRA, there. Was feedback, coming from the actual glasses, which. Is basically just to signify that a calls being made prior, to it actually being connected on this device in our app it. Will also let you know battery. Power on power up and then they'll make a noise when it turns on or if it shuts down so, in that aspect it, is accessible, and. Then now Briona is connected, so brain I would just I would ask you assume. I haven't been here for that for the last hour give, me give. Me an overview of what this room looks like. White. Table on the, left, side of the table I see two four five people sitting two people standing at the back of the room on your left side if, you could scan to the right just a little bit it. Looks like there are two. People. Sitting on the right side of this table it looks like there's one person it, looks like there may be a desk cut into the wall there's someone working. At a desk there so, on, the table, there are a, few, items I see a couple of rolls of paper towels and some green, potted, plants, now, I wanted to bring your attention to the ceiling if you could look up just a little bit the. Sill in this room is really interesting, so it's, a white ceiling but there are white. Beams, going, across. Kind, of in the direction that you're facing weather are also beams. That are going left to right so. It's creating a really interesting pattern there are some really large circular. Light fixtures, coming down from the left. - right, facing. Beams, really. Large circles, very bright, and there are also toward, the left side of the ceiling some, smaller bulb lights they're, like, spheres, go. Ahead and tilt your camera back down now. At the back of the room it looks like, it. Looks almost like a bar I see a wooden. Counter, and it looks like there's kind of a little walk space in between I'm getting. Maybe. Bottles, sitting behind, the counter there, and, it.
Looks Like there is a. Sliding. Door if, you don't mind I'd like to snap a photo there. Either there's, either a sliding, door or a window. On. The left side of the table there's either a door or a window and, I saw something written on that, piece. Of glass there, what does that say, just a second here so, I do see the label, there I'm, not seeing a handle so I think that's actually going to be a. Window. So it says. GLaDOS. It's capital, G, is engulfed Ellison, Lima lowercase. A is an alpha, and then, uppercase, at Diaz and Delta o is an Oscar S is in Sierra I think. That's. Maybe. Wi-Fi. Information yep. And. Then. Just. Here left there I can see a white. Framed door. So. Breanna. On a map, right now can. You just give. Me a notion of where, I am. Absolutely. So you're definitely in, a site access, location. It looks like you are near the corner of 38th. And Broadway, in New York, so. Right. Now the reason that she called that to my attention that we're in a site access location, is IRA, is currently conducting a test. And, so we've enabled site. Access so similar to how we would we would petition, and request that businesses, provide. IRA as a service. We're. Doing it as a test so basically, the. Entire, city of Manhattan. Denver. LA. And. Chicago. All. Are enabled, as site, access lo locations. For the next 30 days and so. We're, just trying to kind of open. Floodgates and. See what happens see how does it affect usage the. Other thing that's changing too is IRA. Is now available, to be downloaded, and used as a guest, by, anyone so. I would encourage all of you to download and install the IRA app from the App Store from, the Play Store if, you're using voiceover you do have to pronounce it a bruh versus. Our, actual, name which is IRA. But. When you install it you can register as, a guest and it's. Completely free and in, any site access location, you, have service as a courtesy right now either, of the businesses that are paying for it or, for the majority of the cities that I mentioned, it's just IRA providing. It to you as. An experiment as an experimentation. Briona. Yes. What, was what, were some of. Some. Of the tasks, that you assisted, other explorers, with today just kind of want to give kind of a general. Sense of how. How. You been assisting, people today sure. So. My. Favorite call today we have an explorer, with a young. Child and. This Explorer had taken this child on a walk yesterday, and the child had dropped a really, nice, blue sippy cup and so. With the Explorer I, backtrack. To the walk to see if we could find it and we did find it which was wonderful, there. Was another Explorer, that called while on the job, this. Explorer works on vending machines and, he. Needed the. Serial. Number model number and asset. Number so that he could contact, the company is one. Vending. Machine needed to be serviced, the, other one had actually been vandalized, someone had punched. Out the. Place. Where you put the dollars. To, pay for your products that you're buying from the vending machines and, so this Explorer needs to contact both, Pepsi, and coca-cola to get those fixed. What else did I do today, I did. Some traveling. Finding a restaurant. From. Walking. From a church to a restaurant. Read. Some mail today. That's. It that's it that's a good overview Breanna, yeah, does, anyone have any any questions for, her as an, agent yeah got one right. Good. Anyone. Else oh. There's. Chloe recognized, text. Locally, or in the cloud how, is IRA data encrypted. Right. Now all, of our AI processing, is happening in, in in the cloud so. We're we're, partnered with, Amazon. And. Basically. Any, connection. From, the IRA agent, into. The IRA cloud is just over a secure, VPN. Tunnel. Does. That answer your question. Any. Other questions for Briana. Okay. Briana thank you appreciate, it. So. I just wanted to open up for any other QA at offer IRA but. Right. Now your subscription. Is private.
Pace So, I work in health care, do. You have plans in the future to, partner. With insurance. Companies. Because. Uh there. Are a lot of patients, that are low vision and/or, blind. And. Of, course they could not afford the subscription, so what, is the scenario in, the future going forward great, question. So. We're addressing, that twofold. So, one. Two. Weeks ago we announced the, IRA employment. Program and, what that was is our, efforts, are combat the unemployment, rate amongst those who are blind and low-vision which, is between, 60, and 70, Perce per percent currently, so. What we are, committing. To is anyone, using IRA in a job seeking, capacity. Will do so for completely. Free so. Those minutes won't be subtracted, from your subscription. They come as a courtesy, so, looking. Online for a job dealing. With forms that aren't accessible, helping. You get your resume polished, up pick. Out the right outfit, and then, we've even worked out with our partnership, with lyft where we're gonna underwrite, the first 100, rides, to, and from your job interview so. That's that's, kind of how we're kind of we're, drawing a line in the sand saying that 70, percent unemployment. Rate is not acceptable, and we're gonna do whatever we can to make an impact to answer, your question in terms of partnering, with insurance companies. We're. First working. On becoming, approved. For purchase by the federal government so we're working on getting on a GSA, schedule. We're. Dealing. On a state-by-state basis. Currently with voc rehab agencies. Looking. For approval you know literally, from. Counselor, to counselor, to be able to provide, IRS as a service, and, then I think our our next step will be. Getting. Traction in that arena of how. Do we become an approved device to be covered by, an insurance carrier. So. We're not yet but we're absolutely working, on it. Because. I overheard, your conversation earlier.
When We were setting up but are, you doing deals with people like retailers, or institutions, so that people get three minutes if they're inside the institution, yes. So. Currently. When you download, and install the, IRA app and. You navigate, to the more tab you'll. See a list of all of our site access locations. So you'll see and. The, app will also give you a pop up just like when you get close to a Starbucks to tells you that you're close we let you know you're close to a site access location, and that minutes here are are free. So. Yes we are working with you, know my. Goal is every, major retailer across, the country every major hotel, chain every. Destination. Location. So art. Museums, and places where they're of cultural, interest for, tourists. Transit. Systems so, we have active, conversations, with the city of New York with how, do we make the, city more accessible. To everyone, so I think there's. There's. Not a single business entity, that wouldn't be a viable candidate, to join one, of the, eight IRA site, access networks so I think my. Answer would be yes, we. Aren't, providing, enough access, businesses. Aren't providing enough access currently, and, that's what we're working on changing. How. Many different languages, do your agents, speak because here in New York you know we have many different, ethnicities. And many different languages. Our. Agent, base currently, we have about 10% of them that speak multiple languages, the, primary. Primary. Additional, language is Spanish, I think. With each round of hiring that comes of more, agents. We're looking. How. Do we bring in. Multilingual. Skilled, people so that we can begin to build that that, agent base and be truly. Multiple. Languages and I think as. We. Expand, into other countries too, that will also dictate, where. We look to, hire first as far as people with these with this skill, set I. Can't. Win with this thing. You. Had a question -. Thanks. First. Things thanks. For the presentation I I actually, I use. With. Some friends I used era and I think it works great I think. You have a great idea with these side access locations, because I'm thinking that is he. Say it's, a way to hook. Starbucks. For example if you think that people, are going to read their mail in the Starbucks and maybe get a coffee so something. Like that it works I have. Two questions actually one, is. What. Are your thoughts regarding. The. Competition, maybe all come because, you're going after or come new eyes aside. For example, this big brands and in. The mobile side for. 100%. AIE apps like, the, Microsoft app that, was released recently so, what's, our opinion, regarding. Those those things. So. I would. Say in terms of. The. Competitive, space that IRA IRA plays in I think all. Of those companies are doing phenomenal. Things they're changing, lives in. A very very, tremendous. Way I think what's unique about IRA and it, will continue to be unique, because we're, first to do it is we're. Human focused, so, the strength of our product, is in our in our technology it's.
In Our agents it's in our it's in it's in those people that. Sit. In there in their home office and answer the calls from our explorers, all day long and I think that that's, the beauty of IRA is that the, human element can never be, underlooked. Can ever be, ignored. I think. What's. We'll make us, more. Uniquely, special, is that we're, going to build our product, to always have a human, in the in the loop so we're a I with, human in the loop so. As you're interacting with our AI if we, sense or you reach a. Point. Where you're not receiving. What that. The data that you need the. Agent is there seamless, to provide that information to you so. Very. Unlike today with how you. Might ask Alexa the same question, with, a few different words ten times and you don't get what you want we're, gonna design iris, so that we're, sensing, that and that, we know that we, can have that agent, come alongside in, a very seamless capacity. And provide access to the information that that Explorer needs. So. I think our. Competitors. Technology, is is great, I just think it's. Doesn't. It doesn't quite have the ubiquitous. Utility, that IRA does because, we truly can, be leveraged, in any situation, and I think from. An explorer standpoint. We. Will only become smarter. Using. More of that information that we know to. Let, our AI provide, faster. Access to information than maybe, even our current our current agents can. Good. Question. My. Other question is um so, from, the presentation, the the feeling that I got is that I raised moving towards becoming, a complete assistance for. Everything, basically in the future maybe adding things. Like Alexa, or regarding. Where, you eat, where. You are how, you can purchase X, or Y so. My question. Is in. Europe from the, Explorers. Standpoint. What. Do they think about independence. Because, they are kind. Of for. Some maybe they, are relying too much on someone else and they don't feel independent enough so. What's your. You. Mean I think we. We. Would always tell. The Explorer that you can use iron anyway. That you that you want and so, if, it's. In the confines, of how, you're. Currently living your your life but, you're. Finding some utility, in certain use. Cases I mean to us that's a win and then we hear stories on the complete opposite end to that same spectrum, of you. Know I'm. Doing, this that I wasn't doing before I'm, doing this without asking for, visual assistance. So. We're we're. Allowing, them freedom that. They. Might have felt, more comfortable having someone, there. Who. Was sighted to give them data that now IRA can can can give them we, still know at the end of the day that, we. Aren't replacing, any of those mobility, skills so. They're their core skill set with their cane of their guide dog or if they have enough usable vision to not need either, we're. There basically. As support. So I think there's, there's. So. Much of visual information in, this world that. Now IRA has the ability to deliver, that you know in a very seamless, fashion. To. That at Explorer. That. Was wrong. Does. That answer your question. It, does. We. Have a question here in the in the back. Yeah. Just, curious. How. Did the idea fire, come, up and who created this IRA thing, and, was. Anyone, who created, or come up with the idea had vision. Impairment, or not. Great. Question. So. Our CEO, and Founder Suman. Koenig. Ante. Basically. Was. Connected. With a friend of his who was another technical, person, he was an engineer.
Who Was blind and they. Were doing, the, reverse, camera FaceTime. At. The same time saman was a part of the Google glass, explorers. Program so he had glass and, so, he employed some, family and some friends saw. The problem, and. Leveraged. The. Current smart glass platform, available to. Remotely connect, that video to a console, so someone could provide that level of description. What. That led to was so. Suman, has sight as, as does. The. Three other individuals, who who co-founded IRA, with him who. He was introduced, to at a very early stage was, a serial, entrepreneur. From. The San Diego area's name is Larry, Bock and so Larry, Bock is legally blind and he. Really he, helped shape the the. Direction, of IRA at a very early stage and. He. Breathed the level of confidence. Into. What was being built and, that really is what enabled us to go, to market was was Larry's. Helping and basically, his his assistance. And. So look, Larry, passed, early. Last year from, pancreatic, cancer and so now IRAs. Challenge, and our legacy and it's what we're charged with is is making, IRA complete, success. To, basically to. Let Larry's vision live on so great. Great, great question. So. The question was what was Larry doing prior I. Think. Larry was part of close to. Helping. To found, or start, or develop, more than 40 biotech, companies, in the in the Greater La, Joya area, so. He's he, was an investor. So. Yes, IRA of course a IRA AI, artificial. Intelligence and, then. RA some. People say it's Remote Assistance but. What we like to explain. The are a part is. The. I of, raw, is in. An Egyptian. God which, was responsible. For, healing. All. Things. Seen and unseen, so it it, plays, very well into what IRA does, so that that, is what IRA means. Yeah. Question. One. More thing. Is. Disability. Sport. No. Barry some is disability, sport and I will you, can look it up for this, no. Barriers summit but, next year is in New York City so. I everybody. Maybe everybody, to, go, to web, site for no barriers summit and look it up because it's. Awesome and it's, next year's in New York City. Partnered. With. Them. Eric. Wine. Mayor I think is his last name is. He. Is an IRA Explorer, so. Yeah he's he's he's, used IRA in many adverse, conditions, as he, is a crazy out outdoorsman. So yeah so, I'm sure. That will absolutely be present at that, event here for sure. Awesome. John. Yeah I. Asked. This question but, but, with that extreme. Sport. Kind of perspective. And. Legal. Liability. And things how, does your company, come. Around that or what. Sorry. That's, a great question. Liability. Is definitely, a concern, so, I'll, go back to what I said earlier is that IRA. Is not is. Not. A safety device we, don't assess safety we, don't provide opinions. So. We just state the facts and so, when. You sign, up for IRA and, you install our app our. Terms of Service will, appear on the screen and it's, your obligation to, read through them but, basically, IRA. In the context, of. IRA. In the context. Of. Your personal safety we, are absolved, in that. Because. We aren't providing. Those. Objective. Viewpoints. It.
Basically, Puts the responsibility in. The hands of our Explorer, so. If. They're. Using us, in. The. Sporting, environment. Crazy. Middle, of. Scaling. A mountain and you and you have access. Error. Is not there to keep you safe during that endeavor IRA is there to. Describe your surroundings. To. Basically again visual, information that you wouldn't have access to we're there to give. It to you so. It's it's only, under the careful guise of how our agents are are trained to interact, with you is. That you, aren't able to put to, put that burden on on us and, so we clearly let you know that. It's up to you and your skills, to, basically maintain, and keep the level of safety that you, demand. They, answer your question okay, we. Had a question in the back again. I'm. Gonna bring you the mic humor Simon. So. I think. You said before that, 60. To 70. Percent of the unemployed. People. Are. Visually. Impaired or something, like that. What. Is the reason behind this, I mean from the perspective. Of the. Like. The I, don't. Know like the IRA management. So. We. We. Assessed, and met with partners, and met with several of the, blind, civil, rights organizations. That were partnered, with and just. Came to the conclusion that this, is a statistic, that everyone agrees on that it's somewhere between seven, sixty and seventy percent and. That, IRA, wants, to draw a line in the sand and reduce, that to under seven percent and so our first attempt, is basically. To let anyone, who's. An IRA Explorer to. Use IRA to find a job and to do, so at no cost to them so if you are a subscriber of, IRA and, it's. Going to take you an hour to look through job boards, and another, two hours to get your resume up to snuff and then, you want to go and pick out a nice. Sweet new suit and make sure everything looks looks good and. Then. You. Know all all of that time all that time comes from IRA so it won't be using your personal subscription minutes. Okay. I think my question wasn't, clear enough. What. I was saying what is the reason, that led, that. Like. Led this. High percentage, not. How it will be tackled, I want, to know like the reason first or the problem, first I. Mean. I think it's it's. A Mis person, it's a misperception. By by, people right. Businesses. Don't they, don't immediately recognize. That. There's many roles within their organization, that, could be filled by someone who's blind or low vision so. I think it's it just comes down to an, awareness. Issue and. I think part, of a part of IRAs mission is to, make people aware and that, when we're talking to business owners on a day, to day basis, to make sure that we're making them aware of that statistic and that it exists, and then. Asking. Them directly how can you impact that how can you help us lower it what. Positions do you have within your your, current. Organization. That if you're not thinking, of could. Be filled, by someone who's blind why. Aren't you and so. We're, gonna continue to ask those same questions and to generate, awareness to, let people know that it's a problem that exists. And they can easily solve it and. That we are an enabling, technology were. We're. A supportive, piece of that puzzle so. You. As the human have the skills, IRA. As a technology. Is, going to enable you to function. In that work. Environment, without waiting. For or requiring, or needing visual, assistance, and so, it's making those employers aware, that. Those, two things which your. Skills are your skills here you're highly, trained the, same as everyone else, except. When you couple that with IRA they. Don't have to then say well someone, who's blind is gonna need this is gonna need that and. That's that's just simply, a wareness. Issue that. Answer your question. So. His, response was it it does but that he's not convinced. Okay. Another. Question here all I'm gonna give you the mic again. So. He's, helping to respond. Reasons. Includes stigma, lack, of access to skill, building and quality training lack. Of access to information because, of barriers, like, inaccessible. Sites and. Equipment. Yeah. Anyone, else oh. Well. I thought that that would make a good. Place to wrap up I wanted, to thank you for coming and giving the presentation if we could all applause. And. Thank, you to white coat captioning, and the Internet Society of, New York and of course thoughtbot for hosting and we, have another, meetup in March we have a surprise to meetups in one month making. Up for January which fell off so, this is diversity, and inclusion in the arts it will be here at thoughtbot Monday. The 19th, so. That's in just about two weeks and, hopefully the, others will see you there I'll be out of town and we'll, be watching hopefully on the livestream so thanks, for coming we have some time to kind of hang out for a bit if you want and, a.
Little. Bit of time so feel free to hang. Out as questions, chat and then, bye. Internet. Thanks. So much.