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App helps blind see via healthy volunteers

apps Updated: Feb 04, 2015 11:01 IST
Be My Eyes

Here comes an app that connects the blind who use smartphones via a VoiceOver feature or Google TalkBack service to sighted volunteers who can help them with everyday tasks.

With help from volunteers, the app called "Be My Eyes" uses smartphone cameras to help visually challenged people with tasks such as looking for expiration dates on food items, finding the right doorbell on an apartment complex or reading messages on the road, media reports said.

The app allows people to "level up" the more they interact with the app and vetting them for future interactions - although there's also a way to report malicious or unhelpful users as well, just in case.

If you get a call as a volunteer but you are unable to pick up the phone, you can ignore it and it will go to another random user in the app's database.

Currently, there are over 103,000 registered volunteers for 8,500 blind iPhone users.

The app is founded by Hans Jorgen Wiberg who first presented the idea at a Denmark start up event in late 2012 and has since grown the company into a nonprofit organisation that has facilitated over 23,000 different interactions between its users.