Aira Compass: Collaborative Insights on Navigation

A grey background with a teal triangle on top of it, and the white Aira logo at the top. Text reads "Compass Update."

In our continuous journey to improve navigation experiences for explorers, we have pooled together valuable feedback from both explorers and visual interpreters (VIs). This is in conjunction with navigation-focused training initiatives aimed at increasing our VIs level of comfort and explorer satisfaction with navigation-related calls. The information gathered below encapsulates our shared knowledge, aiming to bridge the understanding gap and foster a more seamless collaboration between explorers and interpreters. Let’s dive into how each side can enhance the navigation experience by considering the perspectives and needs of the other.


To Explorers From Your VI: Whenever possible, please have your starting and ending location in mind before calling. If you send this information via Aira’s messaging feature when you call, we can more quickly assess your starting point and determine the best route for you. If this isn’t possible, information such as nearby business names or street details are really helpful. Your GPS location shows up as a dot on a map and doesn’t show us the direction you are facing or heading until you begin moving. Additional information like known landmarks, intersections, or the direction you are facing helps immensely, especially in indoor scenarios like airports or malls where GPS is limited.

To Interpreters from Your Explorer:  Sometimes the orientation process can be frustrating. It is helpful if you seek out and clarify location specifics early on. This proactive approach minimizes the need for back-and-forth and sets the stage for a smoother navigation experience.


To Explorers From Your VI:: A steady, chest-level camera angle greatly enhances our ability to guide you effectively. Starting with the camera at this angle allows us to assess your current surroundings and orient you throughout the call. Our ability to assist you relies entirely on a stable internet connection. This can be spotty or intermittent when in buildings like hospitals, schools, or grocery stores. If possible, connect to stable wifi networks prior to calling to avoid lost connection and interrupted interpreting. 

To Interpreters from Your Explorer: Your skill in using real-time visuals through my camera view often feels more reliable than over-reliance on map data. This also feels more connecting as it is the most direct and up-to-date information from my end. I appreciate when information from the live feed is used when possible.  

Feature Update 

Starting today, April 15th, we’re launching our new Call Transfer feature! When your visual interpreter needs to take a break or their shift ends, your call will seamlessly transfer to another visual interpreter. To ensure your minutes won’t be impacted in the information handoff, we’ll credit 5 minutes to your account if a transfer takes place on your call. This feature will improve call experiences for both our Explorers and Visual Interpreters.