A new app called Be My Eyes has just launched, and helps the blind to get instant help from sighted people whenever they need assistance. More than 33,000 people have signed up to assist nearly 3,000 blind people.
Be My Eyes app assists the blind
The app, which is currently available for the iPhone, uses the video calling feature of the phone to enable blind people to get help instantly. It launched on Thursday last week, and has already helped almost 3,000 people on nearly 6,000 occasions according to the website.
Anyone who signs up to the app basically volunteers to lend their eyes for the duration of a call, for example it might be something as simple as describing a photo or helping someone read a label on a product.
The app was founded by Hans Jorgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself, who said “that by helping each other as an online community, Be My Eyes will make a big difference in the everyday lives of blind people all over the world.”
The idea for Be My Eyes came about in 2012 in Denmark, and took several years to develop. If you’re visually impaired, everyday ordinary tasks can present significant challenges, and there isn’t always someone there to help. The app, which was created by a company in Denmark called Thermodo, is the solution to these challenges.
Be My Eyes video chat
All a blind person needs to do is to launch the Be My Eyes app which launches a video chat with a sighted helper, so they can convey the issue in hand using the iPhone’s video camera. The sighted person then just explains what they need to do or how to cope.
Anyone that signs up to help will also be awarded points the more they take part, for each ‘act of kindness’. Right now, the app is only available on iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) but the Be My Eyes team also acknowledge that there are lots of potential users with Android and Windows phones.