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An app for crowdsourcing sight, Be My Eyes

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by Startacus Admin

Be my eyesEvery so often we are reminded of the very real potential for flourishing technologies to make a tangible social impact and positive contribution to people’s lives. Not to sound too sappy or anything; but we think that is really important.

An innovative little iOS app that we came across yesterday, is a great example of this.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a new app, that launched on January 15th 2015, creating a new way for the blind to gain the vital assistance of a sighted person, whenever and wherever they need it.

Basically, a person with impaired vision is linked together with sighted volunteers via the app which facilitates a live video link between the two, whenever assistance is required. The volunteer is then able to provide advice / feedback to the person with impaired vision, essentially becoming their eyes.  It's crowdsourcing sight.

Be my eyesThe users of the app can request help from volunteers for anything that someone with good vision could provide assistance with; this could range from reading the expiry date on a food item, to navigating an unfamiliar space.

A volunteer who is available at the time will then be notified of the request and be able to establish a live video link to help resolve the issue.

The app is the brainchild of 50-year-old Hans Jorgen Wiberg, whose sight began to deteriorate at around the age of 25, and has been supported by the Danish Blind Society, the Velux Foundations, and a Copenhagen software studio known as Robocat.

It’s an innovative, but marvellously simplistic idea, so much so that it was awarded the prize for most innovative idea at 2012’s Denmark Startup Weekend.

“The app makes it possible to get help at times where it might be inconvenient to get help from neighbours or friends, and you don’t have to go apologetically and ask for (it),” said Hans “It is flexible, takes only a few minutes to help, and the app is therefore a good opportunity for the busy, modern individual with the energy to help others”.

Get involved With Be My Eyes

Be my eyesVolunteering for Be My Eyes is a great way for people to do something worthwhile and lend their assistance in their spare time, easily and conveniently. The fact that you can easily select the time during which you will be available to provide assistance, means that is an especially good opportunity for anyone who might otherwise find it difficult to volunteer.

As a volunteer you can also help to develop the future growth and success of the app by helping out with the translation of it into other languages and using the open source code to make the app available on other platforms!

If that’s not quite your thing you can also make a little donation to help the team continue developing the app into something which will improve the lives of blind people all over the world.

If you, like the folks at Be My Eyes, have got a great idea for an app, why not add it to our online collaboration and showcase area?

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Published on: 27th January 2015

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