Eastern student is the first in New England to use assistive glasses

October 11, 2017

Eastern Nazarene College freshmen Cullen Gallagher is the first in New England to use cutting-edge assistive glasses for the blind, known as Aira glasses.

“It’s really great, I want people to know how awesome it is,” said Gallagher.

Aira glasses are designed to help the blind and visually impaired. A camera close to the eye and a microphone tucked behind the user’s ear, allow an agent to see what is happening around the user and describe the physical situation. The glasses are made by Aira and powered by AT&T.

“From AT&T’s perspective, it’s about being involved in the community … this kind of thing really gets to the granular level,” said Karen Twomey, Sr. Public Relations Manager for AT&T. “This adds a whole level of independence where they don’t have to rely on having somebody with them or find somebody around to ask … When you can use technology to really change peoples lives that’s the end game.”

Aria 500 b

Gallagher has had his new glasses for about two weeks and has been using them on and off campus.

“I tested it first with a package and they were able to read the nutrition information for me, and even that, as small as that was, it was really impressive that they were able to see it and tell me what it said,” Gallagher told Stephanie Coueignoux, of Boston 25 News.

Gallagher is a computer science major and hopes to someday work in the assistive technology field. The Quincy native commutes daily to Eastern’s campus for classes.

“[Eastern] has been great! I’ve been able to get the work in a format that I can read, I’ve been able to successfully take exams and quizzes and participate in classes,” Gallagher said. “I love it here.”

Gallagher will appear on Boston 25 News tonight at 6:20 p.m. and WCBV next week further explaining his experience with the Aira glasses.