People Share Their Experiences With An App That Allows You To Help A Blind Person By ‘Seeing’ For Them
Today, you can get an app for pretty much any need you may have. Whether you want to get some food or groceries to be delivered to you, even if you need advice or you’re looking to find a romantic partner, there’s a variety of apps to help you out with it. But did you know there are also apps that allow you to help somebody else? One of them is called Be My Eyes which allows strangers to help visibly impaired people by being their ‘eyes’.
There’s an app called Be My Eyes which allows strangers help visibly impaired people by being their ‘eyes’
The app was launched in 2015 with the sole purpose of making the world more accessible to visually impaired people.
Since the app went viral, it now has more than 2 million volunteers who help the 130k visually impaired users
Image credits: Elsmoove_
The app works in a simple way: the visually impaired person makes a video call which is answered by a sighted volunteer from anywhere in the world.
Both the volunteers and visually impaired people shared how this app affected their lives
Since the launch, more than 2,000,000 volunteers have signed up to assist blind and low vision people.
Some of the task blind people need assistance with includes lost or dropped items, reading labels on household products and identifying the expiration date
Currently, there more than 136K visually impaired people seeking help through the app.
With the helpers and helpees ratio being uneven, volunteers only get calls once in a while, however, the people who seek helpers get a response in a matter of seconds.
The idea for an app was conceived by Hans Jørgen Wiberg who is also visually impaired himself.
Be My Eyes unites one of the biggest networks of volunteers who help visually impaired people.
After his blind friend told him that he used video calls to get his family and friends to help him out with mundane tasks, Wiberg thought of this excellent app idea.
He presented it at a Danish startup event which eventually led to the creation of Be My Eyes.
“It’s my hope 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 founder said. Within the first day of the launch, 10,000 users joined. Today, Be My Eyes unites one of the biggest networks of volunteers who help visually impaired people.
According to Be My Eyes website, here are the most common way people use the app:
1. Finding lost or dropped items
For example: Where is the earring back I dropped on the bathroom floor? Where did I put that sports cap?
2. Describing pictures, paintings or other pieces of artwork
For example: What does this sculpture depict? What are the colors or mood of this painting?
3. Matching or explaining colors
For example: Does this shirt match my jacket? Which pair of shoes are the black ones?
4. Reading labels on household products
For example: Is this window or bathroom cleaner? Shampoo or conditioner?
5. Reading on computer screens if websites are inaccessible or screen readers are not available
For example: My laptop restarted unexpectedly – can you walk me through the login screen?
6. Shopping in supermarkets
For example: Which kind of crackers am I buying?
7. Identifying the expiration date on perishable food packages
For example: Is this milk still good? What is the expiration date of my bread?
8. Familiarizing yourself with new places
For example: Is this the street I’m looking for? Where is the power outlet in this hotel room?
9. Distinguishing between food items
For example: Black beans or green beans? Paprika or Cayenne?
10. Finding out when public transportation (busses, trains, etc.) are departing or arriving
For example: How many minutes does the screen say I have until the next train arrives?
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