Microsoft is a leading technology company that provides a wide range of software, hardware, and services to businesses and individuals. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more through the wide variety of innovative products and services.
Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to accessibility and believes technology can unlock solutions that empower people with disabilities and lead to greater innovations for everyone. In 2018, Microsoft became the first company to join Be My Eyes’ Specialized Help to offer accessible customer support to hundreds of thousands of blind and low vision individuals from all over the world. Now, Microsoft takes another step in creating a more accessible and inclusive experience for its customers by joining our Virtual Volunteer beta.
Virtual Volunteer™ is a digital visual assistant within the Be My Eyes app that can generate the same level of context and understanding as a human volunteer. The difference between Virtual Volunteer and other image description services is in the ability to sustain a conversation with the user and answer a wide range of contextual questions.
Our new Virtual Volunteer promises to further improve the experience for over 285 million individuals who are blind or have low vision. Thanks to this new feature, users in the Be My Eyes app will be able to get instant visual assistance with any Microsoft’s product: all you have to do in the Be My Eyes app is send a picture and ask any question. It is as simple as it sounds.
Whether you need to setup your new Microsoft account, reboot your laptop or install and update software, virtual volunteer could assist you with a number of tasks: not only it can drive you through all the necessary steps, but it can also give you precious advice based on your requests: as an example, Virtual Volunteer can not only guide you through the steps of installing a new version of Windows, but it can also tell you if your device meets the requirements for the new software and can also share with you suggestions about the best setup based on your preferences and the hardware of your device.
“Be My Eyes has played an important role in improving how Microsoft can give effective technical support inclusive of all our customers and their needs. With Virtual Volunteer, we continue to improve on creating a safe and accessible environment for our blind and low vision customers.”
Neil Barnett, Director of Inclusive Hiring and Accessibility at Microsoft
Accessibility and Inclusion have been part of Microsoft’s DNA for a long time. By joining our new Virtual Volunteer beta, Microsoft takes another step in creating a more accessible and inclusive world for everyone. Virtual Volunteer promises to further improve accessibility of Microsoft’s products and services, while delivering a more inclusive customer experience for all individuals living with blindness and low vision.