For some, augmented reality means being able to feel like you're in space or even in a Star Wars film. But for others -- like Stockton dad Hy Cohen -- it's helping people do things that many might take for granted.
Cohen, a computer teacher who has been legally blind since birth, uses an app called "Aira" to help him "see" what he can't see.
The app allows him to call a trained agent who then in real-time is able to tell him what he's seeing either through the camera on his phone or through specially made glasses.
"For the things that we can't see, their job is to describe it," Hy, 40, explained. "They don’t give us an opinion or anything, their job is to describe things and tell us what it looks like."
Aira agents are on-call and available from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. (PDT). They can help with anything from reading papers to navigating a new street to shopping.
Using this app, allowed Cohen to go Christmas shopping on his own for the very first time in his life.
The agent, Emily, was able to help Cohen find his way to the children's section and pick out three books for his 15-month-old son.
"Do I need it ? No," Cohen said. "But it makes things a lot easier."
It also allows him to help his daughter with her homework and read her books. For instance, the agent will tell Cohen what his daughter is pointing at so that he can then know that and interact with her.
"I got eyes!" he exclaimed. "It gives something more special for me and allows me to interact as a father in a way I would not be able to do."
The service is subscription-based and ranges from $89-$329 a month.
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