Technology: it’s become part of our daily lives, and it lets us in on the outside world. Social media is growing rapidly, and almost everything you could possibly want is given to you within the tap of your finger. It’s no surprise that there are currently over 850,000 apps in Apple’s app store, 800 of which are downloaded per second. Be My Eyes happens to be among the thousands of apps, and it is helping thousands.
Hans Jørgen Wiberg came up with the idea almost three years ago, and on Jan. 15, 2015, his idea became a reality. Be My Eyes is an app that connects someone who is visually impaired to someone who isn’t through live video chat. Once downloaded and registered, the sighted can help the blind do anything when asked through VoiceOver and shown by camera, from helping them pick up a dropped item, to guiding them through a busy street. “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,” explains Wiberg.
Lucky for Wiberg, his hope has been accomplished. Available for iPhone 4 or newer, Be My Eyes has 159k registered users and 15.9k blind users. Between the 15.7k blind users, they have been helped a total of 53.9k times.
The app is set up like a game; once you’ve received a notification from someone asking for assistance and successfully helped them, you will gain 50 points. You can also gain points by sharing the app through social media, in which you will gain another 50 points. The points will eventually add up, leading you onto the next level.
While Be My Eyes is a wonderful and useful app, it has its downsides. Because of the large gap between those who can and can’t see, not everyone who signed up to be a helper will get a call for help right away, according to the app’s website’s F.A.Q. And for Android, users will have to wait patiently, as it is not yet available for Android, though it is currently in development. If you wish to download it for Andriod, you can sign up for a notification for its release at bemyeyes.org/andriod.
But for those who are registered iPhone users, if you can’t take a call for certain reasons, don’t feel bad; someone else will take it for you. There are also set times between 7 a.m and 10 p.m to receive notifications, so you won’t be disturbed when you’re asleep. In addition, you can report misuse/abuse to the app if you notice any suspicious behavior.All in all, Be My Eyes is a continuously growing and improving app that's changing and helping the lives of thousands. It's one of the easiest ways to help those in need, regardless of location or situation. Be My Eyes is a free, effective, and even life saving app worth the storage on your phone.