If you are ever feeling in the mood to be a Good Samaritan, now it is possible to do so while only spending a few minutes on your smartphone. This is the idea behind a new app: “Be My Eyes”, which aims to connect people with visual impairments to someone who can see.
After downloading the app, registering via Facebook or an email address, and agreeing to its privacy settings, you are placed in a queue of users. When someone needs assistance, your phone will ring and you will have the option of connecting to a blind user. You can choose to decline the call if it isn’t a convenient time for you.
However, if you accept a call for assistance, the app establishes a video feed between you and the person requesting help. You are now able to establish what the blind person is looking at and describe it to them, while also answering any questions they may have.
There are also other options, e.g. if you are multilingual, then this can be added into your profile to help people all over the world. A ranking system is also in-built, with volunteers earning points and moving up the ladder if their assistance is valuable and helpful.
Be My Eyes is a great example of how technology is transcending barriers, boundaries and geographical locations to help people all over the world. It is designed to facilitate help without making the process cumbersome or complicated, and aims to appeal to people’s kindred spirit without necessarily guilt-tripping them into providing assistance.