A new non-profit app, Be My Eyes, seeks to help the blind by connecting them with people who can assist with their daily lives over live video.
When downloaded the app asks if you are sighted or blind, in order to see if you’re asking for help or offering help. If you sign up as a volunteer, when needed, a blind person can request assistance and the app searches the network for someone who can help.
Requests for help can be anything from identifying a can on the shelf to reading a street sign in an unfamiliar area; when connected, you’re on a video call with the blind user who shows you what they want described.
You’re effectively offering your eyes through the phone’s camera so you can speak what you’re seeing for them over a live video call. It’s a nifty mashup of technology that’s been around for a while in order to get strangers to help.
The idea is a great way that technology is able to help people in need; over 8,300 people have signed up to offer help and 798 blind users are registered. Right now, the app touts 1,500 people helped, even though it only launched today.
The app was invented by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired, at a startup weekend event. He later collaborated with a Danish software studio, Robocat, who helped him build the idea into reality.