Most Innovative New Product Awards: Information Communication Technologies Finalists

Contributor: Raffaella Giampaolo, Marketing Manager at CONNECT

Information Communication Technologies Finalists:

Get to know the finalists for this year's Most Innovative New Product Awards Information Communication Technologies category! 

Aira

Aira focuses on developing transformative assistive technology and services that bring greater mobility and independence to blind and low-vision people in daily living. Aira does this by connecting them within seconds to a network of certified remote Agents via the blind user’s wearable smart device, such as Google Glass

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?  

While Aira has achieved much since its founding in 2015 -- including raising $3.7 million in venture capital and non dilutive financing, and successfully conducting over 2000 beta trial sessions with blind users -- our most significant success has been more fundamental: harnessing the technology to make it all happen. Aira, leveraging key aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT), has developed an unprecedented platform in remote assistive technology that helps people with vision loss gain greater mobility and  independence in a wide range of daily living activities, such as navigating city streets, catching a plane or a city bus, facial recognition, ordering meals from a menu, workplace performance, and literally traveling the world.

Other key Aira achievements include: Gearing up to launch Aira Explorers (the launch involving the first 200 exclusive Aira blind and low-vision users), which has already generated more than 150 Explorer pre-orders. Our Aira Explorers include blind employees from IBM, Google, Microsoft, MIT, Humanware and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Aira is also proud to have been selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2016 Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive Startup Showcase competition.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

In addition to establishing a competitive business model and  developing a viable protocol and framework in which to recruit, train and certify our dedicated cadre of remote Agents, other major challenges we´ve overcome have been:  establishing a viable brand awareness, and successful partnerships with proven champions and organizations serving the blind  community, including the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Mark Riccobono, president of the NFB who was recently selected to our Advisory Board. Aira also proved the value of its services among users, leading them to willingly pay via credit card to become Aira Explorers -- the first 200 persons to sign up to participate (2 months ahead of schedule) in the Aira service which is officially set to be  launched later this year.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?  

Being a finalist in this noted competition allows Aira to showcase technology and services that heretofore had not been implemented or provided for the visually impaired. It also permits further light to be shed on the often-forgotten challenges that people with vision loss face on a daily basis in functioning in a sighted world, and how the power of technology can play a major role in alleviating these challenges.

Creative Electron - TruView Cube S

The TruView Cube S is an innovative x-ray machine used to count the number of semiconductors without the need to open protective cases. This machine is located inside cleanrooms which is a safer, faster, and cheaper way to control inventory.

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

We have an amazing team that’s developing and delivering amazing x-ray inspection technologies to our customers. Our biggest achievement has been our ability to bring these super talented people together. 

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Where to start… as a manufacturer in the USA we feel sometimes as a species near extinction. It’s not bad, but it could be easier!

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Being a finalist in the MIP is a great validation of our technology and our work. It is a motivational catalyst to keep us pushing ourselves to bring the best x-ray machines to the market.  

For more information on the 2016 Most Innovative New Product Awards click here. 

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