This Accessibility App Lets People Remotely Assist Visually Challenged Users
Long gone are the days when smartphones were merely slabs of screens. They have become companions with an exhaustive skill set, primary computational platforms in regions where full-fledged computers could never reach and more importantly, means of communication for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to interact normally with the rest of the world.
Large-scale companies like Microsoft and various startups have stepped up in the last couple of years with intuitive accessibility applications which have been able to lend a digital helping hand to millions of such users.
Similarly, a Denmark-based team came up with an iOS app called ‘Be My Eyes’ two years ago, and now, it’s available for Android. Bringing the free application to the most popular operating system will let the service reach out a significantly larger audience.
‘Be My Eyes’ essentially allows volunteers to remotely assist any visually impaired user who is in need for it. The app achieves this by integrating a live video chat feature and a straightforward interface that requires just a bunch of taps to request help.
Anyone can sign up as a volunteer or an end user without spending a dime. The company says there are over half a million sighted users available on the platform and roughly 40,000 blind users who have been able to live their lives a bit more comfortably, thanks to the app. Moreover, on the ‘Be My Eyes’ app, you can define the language you speak for avoiding any sort of further communication barriers.
As far as availability and response times are concerned, the startup writes on its blog, “Most calls are answered within 45 seconds. Due to the size of our amazing volunteer network and sophisticated matching technology, the app enables you to request assistance in your native language 24 hours a day.”
‘Be My Eyes’ is primarily meant for helping out users in quick sessions. For instance, someone can request help for determining whether a milk carton has expired or not. Or for finding out when public transportation such as trains or buses are departing and arriving.