Bringing Sight To Blind and Low-vision People
Be My Eyes was created to help people who are blind or low-vision. The app is made up of a global community of blind and low-vision people and sighted volunteers. Be My Eyes captures the power of technology and human connection to bring sight to people with vision loss. Through a live video call, volunteers supply blind and low-vision users with visual assistance for tasks ranging from matching colors, to checking if the lights are on, to preparing dinner. The app is free to use and available on both iOS and Android.
When the blind or low-vision user requests assistance through the app, Be My Eyes sends a notification to several volunteers. The app works by pairing the blind or low-vision user with a sighted volunteer based on language and timezone. The first volunteer to answer the request is connected to that specific user and receives live video feed from the rear-facing camera of the user’s smartphone. The audio connection allows the user and the volunteer to solve the task together.
To join the Be My Eyes community, download the Be My Eyes app from App Store or Google Play and sign up as a blind/low-vision user or as a sighted volunteer.
Think of Be My Eyes as a tool to use whenever you need it. The app connects you to a global network of sighted volunteers, who are ready and willing to assist you at any time. As a blind or low-vision user, visual assistance is offered in more than 180 languages by over 1 million volunteers. Be My Eyes’ services are free to use and only require an internet connection. You can call at any time of the day, as many times as you need; There is no limit to the length or the amount of calls. The massive size of the volunteer community means that most calls are answered within 30 seconds.
You can use Be My Eyes for anything that requires visual assistance. Here are some common examples of how people use Be My Eyes:
1. Finding lost or dropped items
2. Describing pictures, paintings or other pieces of artwork
3. Matching or describing colours
4. Reading labels
5. Fixing computer issues
6. Shopping for groceries
7. Identifying the expiration date on food products
8. Familiarizing yourself with new surroundings or navigating in a new place
9. Distinguishing between different items
10. Determining public transportation arrivals and departures
Specialized Help is a platform within the Be My Eyes app. The feature offers direct communication with a business’s customer support agent as a more vision-friendly and faster alternative. Making a call through Specialized Help works exactly like a standard Be My Eyes call, but instead of getting connected to a volunteer, you will be connected to a company representative. The trained representative will be available to answer questions or help you tackle issues with speed and in-depth solutions. As always, it’s completely free to use.
You can access the Specialized Help option from the home screen. Tapping the ‘Specialized Help’ button takes you to a list of available companies in your region. Each business profile will include descriptions of their services, hours of operation, and supported languages. From the company page, you can make a call directly to the selected company. At the present moment, Specialized Help is only available in twelve countries for assistance with Microsoft products or services.
“The first time I would have used Be My Eyes would be for something quite mundane. And I think that’s the good thing about it - you can use it for day to day things.”
“One of the important things, which have changed in my life through Be My Eyes, is that I do not always have to wait until a sighted person comes along. So now I’m very independent as far as that is concerned, and I get the information whenever I need them.”
If a blind or low-vision Be My Eyes user needs your help, you will receive a notification on your phone. If you’re the first volunteer to answer the request, you will be connected with that user. A one-way video connection will be established between the two of you, meaning you can see where or what the blind or low vision user points their camera at and guide them if necessary.
We have a substantial amount of volunteers who are eager to help, so please be aware that you may not be the first to answer, and you may not receive calls daily or weekly. You will only receive calls in the daytime hours of your local timezone between 8am and 9pm.
Please do not worry if you are busy when receiving a call - another volunteer will pick up the call. Secondly, you do not need to have the app open to receive calls. Calls will come through as long as you are logged in to your Be My Eyes account.
Blind and low-vision users may need help with anything from determining expiration dates to finding dropped items to navigating unfamiliar places and much more.
“Helping through Be My Eyes made a profound impact on me. After I’ve helped someone, I feel very cheery, and it also reminds me that I need to be thankful for everything in my life everyday. I’m always happier, when I use Be My Eyes and can help someone.”
“It just makes me feel really good that I live in a time, when I can be of any service to anybody else - especially somebody that I’ve never met, will never meet, they’ll never meet me. You just know that something you did that was so simple could’ve changed somebody’s life that day.”
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