App of the Day: Be My Eyes

Smartphones have accessibility features built in to help blind people browse the internet, get notifications, and read messages.

And, thanks to this app of the day, it helps them see. Be My Eyes connects blind people with those who can see. It works like this:

When someone who’s visually impaired needs help with something, they call on a community of volunteers. As an example, if a blind person needs to know if the milk is expired, they log on to the app, point their camera phone at the carton and tap a button.

Then, a sighted person who’s volunteered to help, gets a notification. They tap on the app and are connected to the blind person over video, who can tell them what they need and have their question answered.

It’s a network of eyes for people who cannot see. In the past couple of years that network of eyes has helped more than 152 times with tasks sighted people take for granted.

Volunteering is easy. Just download the app, and sign up for which languages you speak. Blind people do the same. If you get a request when you can’t help, the request is forwarded to someone else so no blind person will have to wait very long.

If you’re volunteering, it can take weeks before you get a request because there are ten times more volunteers who want to help than blind people who use the app to get help.

Isn’t technology awesome? And people too.

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