Series: Aira’s on a Mission to Change the World and I’m Thrilled to be Part of It

Vinu Somayaji named Chief Technology Officer, bringing mission-critical system expertise to power human-human interaction platform

We’re on a mission to remove barriers.


Aira is an assistive technology company dedicated to changing the world by removing barriers and making it more accessible – providing access to visual information, anytime, anywhere. We’re using the latest technologies to connect people who desire visual information, with actual humans, highly-trained professionals who provide visual information on demand – describing, reading, explaining, navigating – just about anything, safely and securely.


While our community consists largely of people who are blind or have low vision, others who benefit from live, on-demand visual information, also use Aira. Assistive technology enables people with a disability to live healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives, and to participate in education, in the employment market and everyday life, all on their own terms.


As a veteran of technology and software, having spent the majority of my career working on mission critical systems at Intuit (including desktop solutions, identity management, online community solutions, AWS migration, security, and most recently TurboTax Live), I joined Aira to fulfill a very real, very human need.


Aira presents an unique opportunity, one that calls for compassion and deep technical experience. Using technology, I am committed to removing barriers and delivering a fully accessible, always-on platform for visual interpreting. Working with the most empathetic group of colleagues, Aira’s diverse community and my belief in our mission, provides the energy and motivation to climb this steep hill every day. 


“We are thrilled to have Vinu join the leadership team. He brings deep experience in using video, data and consumer technology to deliver an amazing human-first customer experience,” said Troy Otillio, CEO of Aira. “Technology is at the core of what we do and crucial to our mission of helping connect people. As such, we set an incredibly high bar for this position. In Vinu, we found just the right mix of technical expertise, leadership experience, and passion for solving complex problems.”


In mission-driven companies, the entire organization is obsessed with the need to solve the problem. The mission has a direct impact on the company and product; the product gets better as a result of the mission. Joining Troy Otillio, CEO, and Kevin Phelan, Chief Commercial Officer, Aira is leading the digital transformation of assistive technology.