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Be My Eyes App

Can you imagine having your sight taken away? You would need lots of assistance while you adjust to the change, relying on others for help. While vision impairment and blindness is not debilitating (many blind or visually impaired lead stable, fulfilling lives), asking for help could make you feel like a burden. What if there was an app that could connect you to volunteers who are ready and willing to help you out?

That is the essential premise of the Be My Eyes app. Created by Hans Wiberg, who happens to be visually impaired, the Be My Eyes app is a way for the visually impaired to get help without necessarily “asking” for it. If you constantly ask a person for help, like a neighbor, for example, the person may grow tired. But with the Be My Eyes app, helpers voluntarily sign up because they truly want to help.

So how exactly does the app work? Users are divided into two groups, “helpers” and the visually impaired. When a blind user needs help, he or she opens the app, the rear-facing camera is activated and they are connected to a helper. The app notifies helpers until someone picks up. Helpers are not obligated to answer, so, in a sense, they are on-call.

The app has been tested, with relative success, in Denmark for some time. Tasks are usually simple, such as identifying things within the home. While helpers are not offered incentives, they can accrue points from providing assistance. The significance of these points is yet unclear.

The Be My Eyes app is being offered for free and is only available on iOS for now. However, it is said an Android app is in the works. The app is nonprofit and was funded by a $300,000 donation, but Wiberg predicts the need for more donations to maintain its free service.

Do you know anyone who could benefit from this app? Would you sign up as a helper? Share your thoughts on the Be My Eyes app with us – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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Software Name
Be My Eyes App
Operating System
Apple iOS

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