Getting Started

A guide for blind and low-vision users

Making a video call with Be My Eyes app

What is Be My Eyes?

Be My Eyes enables you to lead a more independent life by giving you access to a network of sighted volunteers and company representatives. By the tap of a button, you can get connected to a sighted volunteer, who is ready to provide you with visual assistance for the task at hand. You can request assistance at any time of the day, from anywhere, and it will always be free.

With the addition of our Specialized Help feature, it is now possible for you to receive assistance from company representatives, who can provide you with specialized assistance with their specific product or service.

What do people say?

This is the most incredible asset that I have come across since losing my vision. It is efficient, timely, and the helpers are so very warm and thoughtful.
Chaim blind user from New York
I am a new iPhone user and was just able to download this app and use it for the first time. It is so comforting to know that I can have assistance when I am stuck, and to know that I am really never alone. This is fantastic! Thanks so much!
Clarizza blind user from Germany
Dearest Friends, Yes, I have made one call. I cried afterward and was quite emotional. It isn’t because of my blindness—I’ve been blind too long for that to be of any issue to me... I’m quite moved by the generosity of the volunteers and the brilliance behind the concept and app.
Brian blind user from England

Different ways to use Be My Eyes

There are many situations where a pair of friendly eyes can be helpful. Be My Eyes is used to solve a wide range of daily tasks, and people are always coming up with creative ways to use the app.

Here are 10 common ways people are using Be My Eyes:

  1. Finding lost or dropped items
    For example: Where is the earring back I dropped on the bathroom floor? Where did I put that sports cap?
  2. Describing pictures, paintings or other pieces of artwork
    For example: What does this sculpture depict? What are the colors or mood of this painting?
  3. Matching or explaining colors
    For example: Does this shirt match my jacket? Which pair of shoes are the black ones?
  4. Reading labels on household products
    For example: Is this window or bathroom cleaner? Shampoo or conditioner?
  5. Reading on computer screens if websites are inaccessible or screen readers are not available
    For example: My laptop restarted unexpectedly – can you walk me through the login screen?
  6. Shopping in supermarkets
    For example: Which kind of crackers am I buying?
  7. Identifying the expiration date on perishable food packages
    For example: Is this milk still good? What is the expiration date of my bread?
  8. Familiarizing yourself with new places
    For example: Is this the street I’m looking for? Where is the power outlet in this hotel room?
  9. Distinguishing between food items
    For example: Black beans or green beans? Paprika or Cayenne?
  10. Finding out when public transportation (busses, trains, etc.) are departing or arriving
    For example: How many minutes does the screen say I have until the next train arrives?

Download the app and register

You can download the app for free on your phone. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices.

Download from Google Play
Download from App Store

After downloading, launch the Be My Eyes app to register. The app will take you through a short 5-step registration process:

Step 1: Select your user type

Select whether you are a sighted volunteer or blind/low-vision.

Step 2: Choose whether you want to sign up with Facebook or email

Step 3: Confirm email address

To get started, we will need to confirm your email address. An email with a confirmation link will be sent to your email address. Please click the link in the email to finish creating your account.

Step 4: Select your primary language

After you confirm your email address, you will be prompted to select your primary language. When you make a call, you will be connected to the first available volunteer, who speaks your primary language. You can always change your preference and add secondary languages in settings later.

Step 5: Allow access to Microphone, Camera and Notifications

To make video calls, give access to your microphone and camera. Plus, let Be My Eyes send you notifications so that you can stay up to date with the community.

You are now ready to make your first call

Our volunteers are looking forward to receiving your call. You can call whenever you need assistance. Make sure you keep the app updated to enjoy the new features that will be added over time.

Prepare for your first call

Here are a few things you can do to make it easier for the volunteer or customer support agent to assist you:

Tip 1: Making the call

When there is a task at hand and you need visual assistance, you can call to a random volunteer or a specific business or organization. Home screen presents two options: “Call first available volunteer” and “Specialized Help”. After pressing “Call first available volunteer” you will be connected with a volunteer. “Specialized Help” presents a menu of available businesses and organizations. The majority of calls are connected within 30 seconds.

Tip 2: On the call

When you are connected with a volunteer or customer support agent, briefly introduce the task you need visual assistance with. The volunteer or agent may request that you move the camera if he/she doesn’t have a clear view. They can remotely turn on your phone’s flashlight for greater visibility. You don't have to make small talk unless you feel inclined to, but if you appreciate their help please be sure to let them know.

Tip 3: After the call

Disconnect by tapping the “End call” button located at the bottom of the screen. After the call you can rate your experience as “Good” or in case that something went wrong, you can report an issue. Your feedback is not shared with the other participant, it helps us improve Be My Eyes for everyone.

Things that Be My Eyes should NOT be used for

When calling to volunteers, please keep in mind that the generous helpers in the Be My Eyes network are volunteers, and we cannot guarantee the quality of their help nor take responsibility for their actions. You may under no circumstances share any unlawful, nude, hateful or sexually suggestive content via this service, and you should never display any items containing personal information such as credit cards, passports, envelopes that list your address, etc. Please do not use Be My Eyes in situations that may cause danger to yourself or people around you. We recommend that you take these simple precautions for the best possible experience with Be My Eyes, and please report any cases of app misuse or abuse that you encounter by reporting it in the app immediately after the call.

The following are situations where Be My Eyes is NOT to be used:

We appreciate your cooperation in making Be My Eyes a source of support, kindness, and empowerment for all of our users.

Who are the sighted volunteers?

Our sighted volunteers are friendly and generous. They signed up to lend their sight as they go about their daily lives. So if a volunteer is busy when they receive a call, the Be My Eyes app will find the next available volunteer and connect you to them right away. We send one call request to multiple volunteers at a time to ensure that you get in touch with someone as quickly and efficiently as possible.

There are more than 1,500,000 sighted volunteers in the Be My Eyes community ready and willing to assist you in every time zone, and in over 180 languages. We would therefore like to stress that you can make calls as frequently as you wish without ever disturbing anyone. In fact, we have many eager volunteers who are still waiting to receive their first call, so don’t hesitate!

What do the volunteers say about the app?

The feeling of usefulness, when you answer a call and can successfully help someone, cannot be described. I am always eagerly awaiting the next one.
I am so happy to have been helpful. Thanks for this application, thanks for helping people who don’t see well, and thanks for giving me this moment of joy. It is great to feel useful…
My first opportunity to help went very well. What a wonderful way to connect people. Thanks for making my day.