A new free phone app called “Be My Eyes” is helping blind people overcome some of the challenges that arise from living in a world that relies heavily on sight. One of the app users, Julian Vargas, explained some of the barriers he encounters daily. Good News Network reported that he said, “When we are trying to get some information or a detail that is only available visually, we will joke around and say ‘God, if I only had a pair of eyes I could borrow right now.'” The app is working to lend people like Julian a pair of eyes.
With ‘Be My Eyes,’ a blind person can request help through the smartphone app, which uses the phone’s camera and microphone. The app then connects the blind person to a seeing volunteer. Then, the volunteer has access to the blind person’s camera so he or she can see what the blind person may need. From simple requests like knowing the expiration date on a milk carton or picking out a medication from the pharmacy, the volunteer can help the blind person with what they need. By using the app, the volunteers can help answer and assist the blind person in need.
One of the ‘Be My Eyes’ volunteers, shared with CBS News, “this app is actually something that is helping people and in such a small scale, but means so much.” More than 115,000 volunteers with sight have already signed up to help the 10,000 blind people that have enrolled on the app. On top of it all, the service is available in 80 languages! The app has already been making a huge difference in thousands of people’s lives. The founder of the app, Hans Jorgen Wiber, hopes 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.”