Technology has changed the medical field in some pretty amazing ways. Wearables can replace pain meds, disabled dogs can walk on 3D-printed legs and your phone can tell you if you have an ear infection. Last week, an app launched that will help blind people “see,” and rather than using some new, fancy bio software, it’s fueled by people and a simple user interface.
Be My Eyes is a simple concept: Blind people can connect with sighted people on demand via video chat to help them through little predicaments like knowing which way to go in the train station or seeing the expiration date a carton of milk. In the first day, over 1,000 blind people signed up and over 13,000 sighted.
You can join the growing network as a blind person through an easy voice-automated registration or as a sighted volunteer. When a blind person needs help, the first available helper can be connected to a sighted person for quick assistance that can make a huge impact.
The project was started by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself. With a team of his own and the help of software studio Robocat, the app became reality. It’s amazing that some of the most revolutionary technology that’s changing people’s lives can be created with capabilities our smartphones already have and a willing community of volunteers.
Right now, Be My Eyes is free on the App Store, and you can sign up to be updated when it’s available on Android. You can donate to the Be My Eyes non-profit via PayPal, or donate your time by helping to provide translations to localize the app around the world.
Know of any other socially responsible apps? Let us know in the comments!