Be My Eyes: A New App For a New Kind of Public Assistance!

The home screen for the Be My Eyes app
The Be My Eyes app for smartphones says it has 121,000 sighted, and 10,800 blind people on its network. It is a free service for anyone who needs to know about something they can’t see.

How to use Be My Eyes

After a short and simple registration, you tap the screen to connect to a helper, and then point the camera at whatever you need read or explained. What is different about this crowd sourcing app from previous ones like VizWiz is the voice connection with your helper. Your helper can direct you to lower the camera of your smartphone, bring it nearer to the object or whatever is needed.

What to use the app for

It can be useful for identifying clothing colors. In fact I was introduced to it by a young client, when we were discussing the color of the dark stripe on his shirt. It is also useful anywhere the print you need to access is spread out, such as when you’re trying to find the root beer or the barbecue chips in a vending machine or the buttons on a control panel. We also used it to read the directions on a muffin mix, though the helper did not read the smaller print of the ingredients list.

Waiting for your Helper

The only drawback to this great service can be the wait time till someone picks up. In my limited experience, it varies from less than a minute to more than 7. Have you tried Be My Eyes yet? If you have please write a comment.

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