A new iPhone app allows sighted people to aid the blind in day to day activities.
Being blind or vision impaired is no walk in the park. While those with bad vision often have guide dogs, there are obviously things that a guide dog cannot help with; after all they are trained to keep you out of harm’s way and not to read, write or do things that require opposable thumbs.
Having a human carer also poses some challenges as not only do carers cost money, they aren’t always available all of the time. It means that for parts of the day, someone with poor vision is at the mercy of their eyesight and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Until now. The iPhone already has such features as multitouch, VoiceOver, Siri, Speak Screen, Dictation, and Zoom that make interacting with the device that much easier but now, going one step further is an app called Be My Eyes which connects those with bad vision to those with good eyesight so that they can find help for everyday tasks.
Be My Eyes works by setting up a live video chat between the helper and the vision impaired person. Basic tasks such as reading labels and use by dates can all be conducted by volunteers, with the volunteers gaining points for their work.
The developer explains:
“As soon as the first sighted user accepts the request for help a live audio-video connection will be set up between the two and the sighted user can tell the blind person what she sees when the blind user points his phone at something using the rear-facing camera.
As a sighted user you don’t need to worry about missing a call and ‘leave a blind person hanging’ – you are a part of the bigger Be My Eyes helper-network and we will find the next available sighted person in the network. The challenges that the blind person needs help with can be anything from knowing the expiry date on the milk to getting help crossing the street.”
Be My Eyes is now available for free via the App Store.
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