An app called Be My Eyes allows sighted people around the world to help those who are visually impaired with everyday tasks.
For those of us who are lucky enough to be able to see, it is almost unfathomable to imagine what it must be like to be blind. For those who are visually impaired the tasks that the rest of us find simple may be extremely difficult and in some cases, perhaps even impossible.
There are a number of ways in which society has tried to make life easier for those who are unable to see. Guide dogs obviously play a big part in many blind people's lives and without them, they wouldn't be able to leave the house alone. Guide dogs aren't as readily available as most people realize though, and there are simply more blind people than there are guide dogs to pair them up with.
That's where the new app, Be My Eyes, comes in. The video below explains how the app works and was posted by We Need This on Facebook. When users download the app, they tell it whether they are sighted or not which indicates whether they will be helping as a volunteer or if they will receive help from others. Those who are blind and need help with a task can let the app know and it will connect them with a volunteer who will be able to see what they see via a phone's camera and help them with whatever they are doing.
The creator of the app is actually visually impaired himself, and since launching Be My Eyes the idea has really taken off. There are currently 80,000 visually impaired users on the app and 1.2 million volunteers around the world helping them who can collectively speak 182 different languages. They even have time differences covered. If someone needs help at night in the US, the app will connect them to someone in an English speaking country like Australia where it will be daytime.
There may already be a lot of users on Be My Eyes but there is still so much more room for it to grow. Right now there are 200 million people around the world who are visually impaired and that number is expected to double by the year 2050. By that point Be My Eyes will hopefully be an app that everyone has, whether they're using it to be helped or to offer help.