Target reaches out to visually impaired shoppers
Target is making the store environment more inclusive in time for the holidays.
Following a successful pilot, the discount giant is deploying Aira, a tool that connects blind and low-vision customers with trained agents who act as visual interpreters, in approximately 600 Target stores across the U.S.
To use Aira, a customer places their camera viewfinder on the aisle or section of the store they are shopping and then calls a number to be connected with an Aira agent. The agent is able to see whatever is in range of the customer’s phone camera and can provide a detailed description of products and their location. The agent can also answer live questions from the customer (such as asking for help in finding items of a particular color) during the call.
Aira services are now available at Target stores in 13 major markets, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Houston, Denver, Baltimore, Austin, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco-Bay Area. Once in an Aira-enabled store, customers can use their smartphone or Aira smart glasses to access the app.
Aira is available free-of-charge as long as customers are in the store, with no limit on call time. Store associates are also available to assist customers that may need additional help shopping.
“Each day, I have an incredible opportunity to help make Target even more welcoming and inclusive,” said Steve Decker, lead consultant on Target’s accessibility team. “I get to turn my personal experiences into solutions that not only make daily tasks easier, but bring a little extra everyday joy to even more guests, no matter how they shop.”