‘Sight on demand’ a game-changer for the blind


7th October 2018

‘Sight on demand’ a game-changer for the blind

His new job is selling “sight on demand” to blind people on both sides of the Tasman.

And Jonathan Mosen, a  long-time advocate for the blind, hopes to encourage Kiwi airports, universities and retailers to get behind a cloud-based service that lets blind people call on help navigating unfamiliar surroundings.

The service, developed by Californian company Aira, lets blind people video their surroundings using either “smart glasses” or a conventional smartphone and connect via an app to professional guides who can talk them through where they need to go.

Wellington-based technology consultant Jonathan Mosen, who has been blind since birth, will take up a position as a vice president of Aira on Monday week – responsible for developing its business in New Zealand and Australia.

“The product it’s selling is essentially ‘sight on demand for blind’ people,” he said.

“The human agent has a dashboard which includes a video feed so they can see what the blind person would see if they had sight, plus GPS data and maps if they are available.”

There are 12,000 people who are registered with the Blind Foundation as being blind, and about 80 per cent of people went blind later in life, Mosen said.

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