Memorial City Mall now has new tech to help blind shoppers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- New technology at Memorial City Mall is helping people who are blind and visually impaired get around better.

Mall officials partnered with Aira to offer the new technology, for free, to blind and low-vision visitors across the entire Memorial City development.

"It just gives us a lot more," says Peggy Garrett, president of the Texas chapter of the American Council for the Blind. Garret, who is visually impaired, has been using the app at the mall.

She said, "I have the independence of shopping just like anybody else."

Aira is an app you can download on your phone. Once you open the app, you can call for an "agent" and through the phone's camera, the trained agent can guide you where you need to go in real-time.

"I can have products that are on shelves or tables described to me so that I can leisurely look at different things," said Aira account executive, Vince Morvillo.

Morvillo has been blind his entire life. He says this new technology is helping people like him be more independent.

Morvillo said, "The amount of freedom you all of sudden get is really unbelievable."

The technology itself is four years old, but brand new to Memorial City.

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