People use Be My Eyes in their daily lives: Cooking, cleaning and crafting, to name just a few regular tasks – tasks where they often need both hands in addition to a pair of helpful eyes. We get asked all the time about how people hold their phones without their hands – so this holiday season, we decided to put together our list of favorites.
If you use Be My Eyes a lot to read documents, a portable scanning stand might be very useful. Made for scanning documents, the stand can hold both your smartphone or tablet as well as the document in an aligned position that not only allows for the perfect scan, but also for the volunteer to clearly read your document.
Another alternative for documents is a scanner bin. By placing the document inside the box and the phone on top of the box with the camera in the little opening, it allows for the volunteer to get a clear overview of your document.
If you’re a guide dog or white cane user, it can be difficult to hold your phone in your hand and use Be My Eyes when out and about, and a hands-free option would make navigation a lot simpler. By having your phone attached to a lanyard that you can wear around your neck allows for just that. Just make sure to get a lanyard that can be mounted on the top of your phone, instead of at the bottom, so that the feed is not upside down for the volunteer, and that you turn the rear-facing camera away for yourself when wearing the lanyard.
A basic adjustable phone stand or a tripod can prove useful in many different Be My Eyes situations, to ensure that the camera is stable when showing items to a volunteer. Whether you’re distinguishing cans of food in your kitchen or maybe knitting something, a phone stand allows you to work hands-free and in focus. And if you want to splurge a little, we can definitely recommend the Tenikle suction tripod!
Another option for hands-free navigation is to mount your phone on your chest or your head. And not only that, it also gives great camera stability and allows the volunteer to see what is right in front of you. Try to look for a mount where it’s possible to switch it to a vertical angle, so that the video feed is not flipped for the volunteer.
Another way to wear your phone around your neck is with a gooseneck phone holder. Mostly used for watching videos on your phone hands-free while lying down, it can definitely also be used for a hands-free Be My Eyes experience. Just as with the chest and head mount, look for one where the phone can be used in a vertical position.
A different variation of the gooseneck holder is the clip version that can easily be clipped on the edge of the table. As with the neck holder, the gooseneck arm allows for great flexibility.
A simple kickstand can often do the trick! Again, it’s preferred with a version that allows for the phone to be in a vertical position, so that the camera feed is not flipped for the volunteer.
A clear waterproof pouch can be used similarly as the lanyard and worn around the neck - as with the lanyard, remember to point the rear-facing camera away from yourself. If you use a pouch, we recommend that you use headphones with a microphone in, as the plastic pouch can distort the sound.