By Michael Zaken
Is there ever a time you need a pair of eyes to help you identify something and feel helpless because you can’t do it.
Well there is an app for the iPhone called “Be My Eyes” that can help a blind person remotely connect through a live audio-video connection when they need something viewed by a sighted person.
Be My Eyes is brought to us by Hans Jørgen Wiberg “a blind developer” from Denmark who is offering the services of the app free
The app works on iPhone 4S and later models. They will be working on an app that will run on Android phones in the near future.
After you download the app from the app store, you identify yourself as a blind or sighted person.
For those who identify as blind, the app automatically activates the VoiceOver accessibility feature of the iPhone.
You’re asked to register an account with Be My Eyes, using either email or Facebook.
After you login, which is only the first time, you will see a “connect to the first Available helper button”. Double tap it, then wait until someone answers.
As soon as the first sighted user accepts the request for help a live audio-video connection will be set up between the two and the sighted user can tell the blind person what she sees when the blind user points his phone at something using the rear-facing camera.
This interaction between the sighted person and a blind person leads to a much quicker resolution rather than using other apps.
The time you can use Be My Eyes is between 7 AM to 10PM in your time zone.
Some Sample Tasks include:
reading a street sign, reading the expiration date on a milk carton, seeing whether lights are on or off in a room, seeing whether a can is filled with soup or dog food, or reading a number on an apartment door.
Currently Be My Eyes has 223,000 sighted, 19,300 blind, 77,900 people that were helped.
Personally I needed to use Be My Eyes when I was home alone to identify a can of black olives for a salad I was making for dinner.
My pantry is filled with various cans, and usually my wife Judy is around to get it.
Within 10 seconds of launching Be My Eyes, I had a person on the phone who was able to help me find the can of olives in no time.
Another time I used Be My Eyes to give me the assurance that my clothes that I was wearing matched.
So I am curious what other users of BE My Eyes have experienced when they used the app.