Be My Eyes App: Questions and Answers

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Navigating the world with impaired vision poses unique challenges, but apps like Be My Eyes stand as a beacon of technological innovation and community support. This revolutionary mobile application, launched in 2015, transcends traditional assistive tools by connecting blind and visually impaired individuals with a global network of sighted volunteers. Through live video calls, users can seek assistance for a myriad of tasks, fostering independence and inclusivity. Join us on a journey to explore the profound impact of Be My Eyes, its evolution, and the heartwarming stories that illuminate the transformative power of human connection and technology.

What is Be My Eyes? 

Be My Eyes app stands as a complimentary smartphone application available for both iOS and Android users. It serves as a platform that links individuals with visual impairments to volunteers or representatives from companies using a live video connection for visual assistance. Essentially, the app provides users with on-demand access to a sighted person via video chat. Users can access Be My Eyes without limitations, and the service comes without any charges. Furthermore, the app is accessible globally, without any language restrictions.

The History of the Project

The narrative of Be My Eyes unfolds as a testament to its mission: enhancing accessibility for blind and low-vision individuals. Launched in January 2015, the free mobile app has connected over 7 million volunteers worldwide with blind and low-vision users through live video calls. Serving as one of the largest micro-volunteering platforms globally, Be My Eyes supports users in over 180 languages, fostering a vibrant online community for the visually impaired. The inspiration for the app originated with Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a visually impaired Danish furniture craftsman, who envisioned harnessing the power of video calls to provide assistance. The app’s journey began in 2012 when Hans Jørgen shared his idea at a startup event, leading to the app’s release on iOS in January 2015 and on Android in October 2017. Recognized with accolades such as the Google Play Best Apps of 2017 and the Apple Design Award for Social Impact in 2021, Be My Eyes has expanded its offerings to include features like Specialized Help, Be My Eyes for Work, Corporate Volunteering, Be My Eyes Experiences, and Be My Eyes Careers, collaborating with Microsoft and other partners to provide efficient customer support and corporate solutions.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes App – How It Works

Be My Eyes facilitates connections between visually impaired individuals seeking remote assistance and sighted volunteers, creating a platform that is both downloadable and free to use. Navigating the app is seamless for visually impaired users, with a prominent button dominating the screen, initiating a connection with the first available helper upon a double-tap. The connection employs a two-way audio and one-way video setup, utilizing the opentok/tokbox video platform. Volunteers, utilizing the rear-facing camera for enhanced resolution, assist with identification tasks through a conversation with the visually impaired user. Disconnection is possible at any time.

Upon launching the app, users are prompted to indicate if they require assistance or are willing to provide it, necessitating registration. Registration options include using Facebook credentials or creating a Be My Eyes account with a chosen name, email address, and password. For those registering as helpers, leaving the app running allows for background monitoring, alerting them when assistance is needed. Founder Hans Jørgen Wiberg shares that the initial approach involved pinging multiple volunteers simultaneously, but feedback from volunteers expressing a desire to be the first responder prompted a shift in strategy.

Be My Eyes Volunteers 

Be My Eyes relies on sighted volunteers to drive its service, offering an inclusive opportunity for anyone to become a volunteer by signing up on the app. No formal training or background checks are conducted for volunteers, considering the simplicity of many tasks. When a user seeks assistance, a notification is dispatched to several volunteers, with the first respondent being the one to provide help. During calls, volunteers remain anonymous and do not appear on video; their voice serves as the sole means of communication.

Key Statistics on Be My Eyes Volunteers:

  • Representing 150+ countries
  • Support for 180+ languages
  • 1,842,812 volunteers as of the publication date
  • A ratio of 16 volunteers available for every 1 blind/low vision user
  • Accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Be My Eyes App Review

Overall, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and the app boasts a high rating on both the App Store and Google Play. Continually evolving, this app has consistently improved over time. Initially a free application leveraging volunteers for assistance, it later introduced the Specialized Help section, enabling direct connections with accessibility experts for various technical tools, advocacy groups, and more. The addition of Be My AI has been particularly remarkable, outperforming other apps in image description capabilities. The app’s ongoing enhancements contribute to its continual improvement.

In conclusion, the Be My Eyes app exemplifies the harmonious convergence of technology and humanity, providing a platform where compassion transcends physical barriers. With its continuous evolution, from leveraging volunteers to the introduction of specialized help and Be My AI, the app has not only facilitated practical assistance but also fostered a global community dedicated to making the world more accessible. As we reflect on the stories of empowerment and the positive impact this app has had on the lives of visually impaired individuals, it becomes evident that Be My Eyes is not just a tool but a testament to the boundless possibilities when innovation and empathy intersect. In the realm of assistive technology, Be My Eyes stands tall, lighting the way for a future where inclusivity knows no bounds.

Do you get paid for Be My Eyes app?

By engaging with BeMyEye, you have the opportunity to earn money through tasks such as participating in polls or questionnaires, capturing photos in a store, acting as a mystery shopper, and more. These are straightforward mini jobs that can be accomplished using your smartphone.

How can I become a volunteer for the Be My Eyes app? To volunteer for Be My Eyes, follow these simple steps:

Download the Be My Eyes app and agree to the terms of service.
Sign up by providing your name and email, or use a social account like Google or Facebook.
Choose the language or languages in which you can offer assistance.
You’re all set!

How frequently can you expect calls from Be My Eyes?

Calls from Be My Eyes are infrequent, ensuring that you’ll only receive them occasionally. If you happen to be occupied when a call comes in, rest assured that another volunteer will step in to assist. Whether blind and low-vision users need help with brief or more extended tasks, it’s worth noting that around 90% of all calls are successfully completed within a few minutes.

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