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App of the Week – Be my Eyes
Lend Your Eyes to a Blind Person with Be My Eyes
A new app, released in January, allows sighted users to help individuals with visual
impairment using their iPhone’ camera. Be My Eyes connects users with visual
impairments with sighted volunteers through video chat sessions that allow the
sighted person to answer questions about the visually impaired person’s
While we’ve made progress in making things more accessible for the visually
impaired, we still have a long way to go. Imagine being visually impaired and having
to complete everyday tasks like checking the expiry date on the carton of milk.
Seems like it might be tricky, doesn’t it? Enter Be My Eyes. With this app, a visually
impaired user can make a request for assistance. A sighted volunteer will receive a
notification and can accept the request to establish a video connection. Using live
video, the sighted person can lend their eyes to answer questions about the visually
impaired person’s surroundings—like telling them the expiry date on that carton of
milk in the fridge.
The app is automatically set to only allow calls to volunteers between 7am and
10pm in their time zone, so they won’t be disturbed throughout the night. The team
at Be My Eyes is working on functionality that will allow volunteers to personalize
these times to fit their individual schedules. They’re also working on an Android
version of the app.
The idea for Be My Eyes came from Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a Danish man who is
visually impaired himself. His idea to build an online community to connect visually
impaired individuals with sighted volunteers who could help them with everyday
tasks has resulted in a community of over 17,000 visually impaired users and,
impressively, over 200,000 volunteers.
iOS | Free
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