If you’re blind, and especially if you live alone, there could be dozens of situations where you need to ask a sighted person for help: to check if the milk in your fridge is out of date, find out what a street sign says, or make sure the photo you’re framing is the right way up. Of course, if they’re around, you could ask a friend or neighbour. But now you can also ask an app.
Be My Eyes, which launched today for iOS, aims to link a blind person in need with a sighted person who can answer their query over live video. It’s free to use, and users either sign up as blind or sighted. When a blind person has an issue they can just fire up the app and it will scan sighted users until it finds someone available to help.
According to The Next Web, 1500 people have already been helped, and over 700 blind people and 8000 sighted volunteers have signed up. (SO glad that ratio isn’t the other way round.)
It was developed by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who’s visually impaired himself, in collaboration with Danish software studio Robocat. They started with an iOS version because the iPhone is the most popular phone among blind people, but plan to expand it to Android in future. Sign up for updates on their progress or find out more via the website.