The story about Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with one main goal: to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people. The app connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers and companies from all over the world through a live video call.
Since we launched in January 2015, currently 4,000,000 volunteers have signed up to assist blind and low-vision users. Be My Eyes users can request assistance in over 180 languages making the app the biggest online community for blind and low-vision people as well as one of the largest micro-volunteering platforms in the world! Every day, volunteers sign onto Be My Eyes to lend their sight to blind and low-vision individuals to tackle challenges and solve problems together.
The Be My Eyes story started in Denmark in 2012 with Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a Danish furniture craftsman, who is visually impaired himself. Through his work at ‘The Danish Association of the Blind’, he recognized that blind or low-vision people often needed a little assistance to solve everyday tasks. However, it wasn’t until a blind friend told him that he used video calls to connect with family and friends, who could help him with these tasks, that Hans Jørgen got the idea for Be My Eyes. He believed that the technology of video calls could be used to visually assist blind or low-vision individuals, without them having to rely on friends and family, but using a network of volunteers.
In April 2012, Hans Jørgen presented his idea at a Danish startup event, where he got connected with a team that was ready to make Be My Eyes a reality. On January 15th 2015, the Be My Eyes app was released for iOS, and within 24 hours the app had more than 10,000 users. Since the release of the iOS app, an Android version has been in high demand. The Android version was finally released on October 5th 2017. In December 2017 Be My Eyes was chosen as Google Play Best Apps of 2017 in the categories; “Most Innovative”, “Best Daily Helper” and “Best Hidden Gem”, and in May 2018 Be My Eyes won the Google Play Award 2018 for “Best Accessibility Award”. In 2021 Be My Eyes won an Apple Design Award for Social Impact.
In February 2018, the feature Specialized Help was launched with Microsoft as first partner company. Specialized Help enables blind and low-vision users to connect with official company representatives for accessible and efficient customer support. Be My Eyes now offers a variety of corporate solutions besides Specialized Help, including Be My Eyes for Work, Corporate Volunteering, Be My Eyes Experiences and Be My Eyes Careers.