This nonprofit crowdsources sight for the blind.
With Be My Eyes, blind or visually impaired people can place a call to sighted “helpers” through an iOS device. The helper receives a video of the user’s surroundings and describes the area or answers a question with which the user may need help.
Both helpers and users of the Be My Eyes network create profiles that can be rated by others, in order to try to prevent misuse. Profiles also earn points and “level up.”
Be My Eyes was founded by Hans Jorgen Wiberg, a visually impaired entrepreneur. The code is open source. So far it’s only available for iOS, but Android users can sign up to be notified when a version for their operating system becomes available.
For now the app is free, but the company is considering a subscription model or a call for donations in September, when initial funding runs out.
The team behind Be My Eyes met at a Startup Weekend in Denmark, and won an award for the most innovative idea. Based in Copenhagen, the startup is backed by the Danish Blind Society, the Velux Foundations, and software development studio Robocat.
“The app makes it possible to get help at times when it might be inconvenient to get help from neighbors or friends, and you don’t have to go and apologetically ask for help, said John Heilbrunn, vice chairman of The Danish Association of the Blind, in a press release.
Be My Eyes is available on the app store, and requires iOS 7 on iPhone 4 or newer.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)