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Future Tech: 

Lend your eyes to the blind with Be My Eyes app


Be My Eyes helps the visually impaired with the things we take for granted.

Smartphone apps can help us solve complex math equations and even pick out the perfect bottle of beer, but the recently launched Be My Eyes is looking to provide solutions for something many of us take for granted – our sight.

The new not-for-profit app wants to help the blind by pairing them up with sighted helpers, assisting them with everyday queries that they’re unable to easily answer for themselves. Tasks might be as simple as checking an expiry date or reading a street sign –but the network of volunteers makes asking for help simple and painless.

After installing the app, choose whether you’re sighted or blind and Be My Eyes will connect users via a direct video call whenever a problem arises. Volunteers choose when they’re available or busy, so the blind user is always connected to a willing participant.

At the time of writing 1,070 blind people have downloaded the application, while nearly 12,000 sighted people have signed up to volunteer. A running counter on the Be My Eyes website says the app has already helped the blind in nearly 2,000 individual cases – which is pretty good going considering it only just launched.

The app was created by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself, teaming up with Danish studio Robocat to develop the software. He writes on the app’s website: “It’s my hope that by helping each other as an online community, Be My Eyes will make a big difference in the everyday lives of blind people all over the world.”

Be My Eyes is available on iOS for now, but an Android version is coming soon. Visit the website for more details, or follow Be My Eyes on Facebook to track its progress.

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