Description of App
Need a pair of sharp eyes? Or have some sight to lend? Be My Eyes is a simple, free tool to see the world better, together.
Be My Eyes connects you with a global community of volunteers and company representatives who are ready at a moment’s notice to help you see – to lend their eyesight and support with everyday tasks.
FREE. GLOBAL. 24/7.
Be My Eyes is a multi-lingual support community millions strong, available globally day or night, and has volunteers answering calls in more than 185 languages. Join the community today!
Sign up to get free visual support with tasks like reading small print, matching clothes, troubleshooting technology, setting up home appliances, or any other simple task a volunteer can complete over live video. If a task is too complicated or requires expertise, call one of our company partners for on-demand video customer support via Specialized Help.
If you have eyesight you want to share, sign up as a volunteer and answer calls from a person in need! Tasks are usually completed in just a few minutes, and if you’re busy there’s no need to answer – someone else will get it.
HOW IT WORKS:
1. Anyone 17 or older may sign up as a user or volunteer.
2. Calls are connected based on daytime timezone and language. Average wait time is about 15 seconds.
3. When a call is answered, a live one-way video (two-way audio) is initiated, allowing volunteers or company reps to see what’s in front of the user’s camera and provide verbal support.
Note: Specialized Help availability varies by region and company opening hours.
WHAT CAN VOLUNTEERS HELP YOU WITH?
• Reading home appliances
• Reading product labels
• Matching outfits and identifying clothes
• Help in the kitchen
• Reading digital displays or computer screens
• Navigating TV or game menus
• Operating vending machines or kiosks
• Sorting music collections or other libraries
• Picking jewelry or crafts
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH SPECIALIZED HELP?
• Web and Computer Technology
• Health and Beauty Products
• Banking and Finance
• Nonprofit Organizations
• We’ve just reached 3 million volunteers! Thank you for making Be My Eyes the biggest community support micro-volunteering platform ever.
• 2020 Dubai Expo Global Innovator.
• 2018 Winner of the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards at the NFB National Convention.
• 2018 Winner of AbilityNet Accessibility Award at the Tech4Good Awards.
• 2017 Winner of World Summit Awards - Inclusion and Empowerment.
A nitch for this app
I just tried the app for the first time and had a good experience. I connected with a volunteer in about a minute. He spoke good English and was able to provide details about a photo I could not have received from any other app. For example, he told me the man in the picture was wearing a white shirt and the woman had on a red sweater.
For instances where detail is needed about something that does not contain personal information, I definitely believe this app has a nitch. Would I use it to identify medication or mail that might possibly be a credit card bill, probably not. For that, KNFB Reader or TapTapSee probably makes more sense.
Their is never going to be one app that does all things in all situations. That is why the toolbox approach is important. The BeMyEyes app does add one more tool to the app toolbox that those of us who are blind can pull out and use when needed. For that reason, I hope this app finds long term success.
What's New in Version 1.3
- Fixed Facebook login crash
- Layout fixes
Thanks to all of you who have helped translating the app on CrowdIn we bring you:
- Critical fixes to Swedish
- Major and minor update to most existing languages
- Added translation for 23(!) languages:
French, Turkish, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Romanian, Italian, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian,
Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Serbian, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese
I've had this app on my phone
I've had this app on my phone for sometime but haven't had the need to use it. However, I did on Sunday just to test it out and I was surprised to not only have waited for only about a minute, but we got someone in Australia. Not sure if the update now means our match is more likely to be in our country but .. it was good. :)
I think it's an fantastic app.
And I've also managed to get about ten volunteers due to my posting the link on Facebook where the majority of my friends on there ar sighted.
When's The Best Time To Use This App?
Hi, I've had mixed luck trying to use this app. I'm out in California and whenever I've attempted to get some help around 8 P.M. PST, there doesn't seem to be a lot of folks available. I am assuming this is probably when the rest of the world (except for Asia and Australia) are sleeping. I'd be curious to know when help seems to be abundant and when it is more limited. I have found this app to be pretty helpful when I've been lucky enough to find it. The volunteers have been very nice and at some times, gregarious. It's definitely a neat concept.
Yes, this change should be made
I totally agree with you. Using this app while trying to cross the street would be an extremely dangerous thing to do. And I think the app developers should make that change in the description. However, I know this app could be a huge benefit for other things, like how much of an ingredient is needed in a recipe. Or as they mentioned, expiration dates on products.
What's New in Version 1.4
- New onboarding experience with a test call function. You can also access it under your profile settings.
- Updated translations. Thanks to everyone who is helping out on http://crowdin.com/project/bemyeyes correcting errors and translating new features - everyone can join!
- We now require users who sign up as blind to use Voice Over to avoid abuse.
- Add profile picture on non-Facebook accounts
- lot of bug fixes and minor improvements
I'm a bit confused by the
I'm a bit confused by the statement in the prev update description: - "We now require users who sign up as blind to use Voice Over to avoid abuse."
Just curious; what is meant by that exactly? What would it matter if people didn't use VO? How could that stop abuse?
I assume its to stop sighted
I assume its to stop sighted people signing up and making calls just for a prank, I guess its just meant to make that harder. The bit I don't get is the part that talks about an option to make a test call?
I don't understand the test call option either. The way the app description is worded, it sounds like you can make a test call to make sure things are working correctly. However, I see no test call option anywhere.
I wonder if you get the test
I wonder if you get the test call option during or after sign up, or maybe when you newly install the app. Or maybe that option is only available for sighted users?
iPhone Speaker bug
One of the really annoying bugs in this app is that VoiceOver remains in speaker phone mode after you disconnect a call. The only way I know to return VO to normal is to go in to the app switcher and close Be My Eyes. Anyone found any work arounds to this bug?
After reading about the Hall of Fame Induction I went to download the app. However, I found the info below in a review on the App Store in the Reviews section. I know advertising is fairly common in free apps but the Privacy Agreement seems to allow for sharing of our details with unspecified 3rd parties anytime the developer feels like it and it seems to quite free and easy with our devices. Any thoughts...?
"We may also share certain information such as cookie data with third-party advertising partners. This information would allow third-party ad networks
to, among other things, deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you.” "we may use information that we receive to:
provide personalized content and information to you and others, which could include online ads or other forms of marketing” "We may ask advertisers or
analytics tools to help us measure traffic and usage trends for the Service. These tools collect information sent by your device or our Service, including
I would not worry about it. Most companies must put that stuff in to cover their behinds. I had to do that when running a station 3 years ago. I ignore all of that stuff as I've had to write it lol!
Putting off potential helpers...
I'm not the only one worried about the developers apparent carte blanche attitude to my personal information. Judging by the reviews at least one potential helper has uninstalled the app for this reason. I would really like to try it but I am loath to allow just anyone unrestricted freedom to collect information about me and my browsing habbits or how I use my phone. Does anyone know what information is requested on registration and what other information or services the app actuaally gains access to on the device? It would be helpful to know. Thanks.
Found this on website FAQ
"BME is a non-profit organization, thereby the costs related to keeping it up and running depends on external funding. We do not receive any funding from
advertising, and are not planning to consider it as a means for financing the application in the future. The organization received the main seed funding from the Velux Foundation, and some additional funding from the Danish Association of the Blind, the lind Foundation in Denmark and the IndiGoGo – crowd funding campaign. By September 2015 the initial funding comes to an end, which is why we are working on a more sustainable business model for the future.
We are considering a subscription model, sponsorships or donations and, therefore, we are more than grateful for any ideas or help coming our way."
Again see my contracts post.
Again see my contracts post. I had to put that statement in there or something similar when I ran a station for a year, and wrote up several music and manager contracts for a class. They are also suposed to put an endemnify clause in the contract so that if anything nasty happens it is the users' responsibility. I did not see that in there. and I read the licence.
Be blessed to all.
You are right! Dont cross streets!
I am Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. We are very happy, that you have written, that you shouldnt use Be My Eyes to cross the street. You are correct, that it can be dangerous. When crossing a street, its more appropriate to use mobility skills - or ask a person near you! I will write the AppleVis community to make them shange the wording!
Don't use Be My Eyes to cross a street
Hi Jim. I am Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. I am very happy to hear, that you had a good experience using Be My Eyes. And you are definately right. Be My Eyes is good for some things. But not for everything. So we completely align with you in the toolbox way of thinking! Have a good day :-)
Get connected to helpers from your own country
I am Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. I am so happy to hear, that you had a good experience using the app! The update doesnt make it more likely, that you get a connection in your own country. But that is something we are thinking about for the future...
Use of Voice Over
I am Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. Unfortunately we have had a few people abusing the system. They have pretended to be blind, and have called a sighted helper - just to make fun. We wish to avoid this. And if people with a visual impairment has to sign up using Voice Over, it makes it more difficult for sighted spammers to sign up. Thats why, we have changed it. Hope this answers your question!
Overview of helper-avaliability
Hi Tiffany. I am Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. I am sorry to hear, that you have had difficulties getting connected to an avaliable helper around 8 pm. Hopefully it is easier by now, where we have more helpers in the community! We are also working on a feature, which makes it possible to see how many helper there are avaliable in your language, when you intend to call. This will give you a better understanding of the current situation in the helper-network.
Test calls are only for sighted helpers
Hi Earle. Its Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. We are sorry, that the communication around the test calls has been unclear. Test calls are only for sighted helpers. In the beginning we experienced, that some helpers, didn't know how to answer a call. Either because they didnt know how to answer the push notification. Or because they simply didn't understand, that the noise from their phone was a Be My Eyes call. The test call has given them an opportunity to "practice" and to hear the sound of a Be My Eyes call. This has made the answer-rate better, which has cut down the waiting time for users with a visual impairment.
You can report bad experiences
Its Ida Marie from the Be My Eyes team. As you might noticed, it is possible to report it, if someone is misusing the system. Or if they mislead you on purpose. We do not carry out checks on the helpers beforehand. Usman wrote, that he had a bad experience with a helper, who gave him wrong information on a medication bottle. We are so sorry to hear about instances like that! Luckilly the majority of the stories we hear are positive! Every day we get emails from people with a visual impairment, who has been helped.
Be My Eyes Registration
I downloaded the app this morning. The first screen asked for a login but seemed to have no way to create a new account. I tried to sign in using Facebook. the screen that came up said that I must sign up with Facebook first. I have a Facebook account. The Facebook app is on my phone, my login credentials were correct, and I confirmed in settings that Be My eyes would be allowed to use what it needs from Facebook. Nevertheless, I cannot register. I follow Be My Eyes on Twitter. I sent a direct message this morning. As yet, I have received no response. The need that prompted me to download the app has been satisfied another way.
You might try...
You might try closing down the app, and re-starting it, and it might log you in with your Facebook credentials. It's a stab in the dark, but it might do the trick.
Be My Eyes Registration
This is Ida Marie from Be My Eyes. To register, you need to do the following: On the first screen, you need to tap: "I am blind". When you have tapped "I am blind", the registration process begins. I hope this will help you.
Kind regards - Ida Marie Piper, Be My Eyes
Apps and Facebook
It is my understanding that Facebook has become rather picky as to what apps it lets interface with it. So if that's not working, I dare say it's not the problem of the BE My Eyes developers.
First use and dangerous activities
I'm sorry but I had to laugh about the crossing the street scenario the developer originally proposed.
I believe that most people of good sense would know better than to use remote assistance for any activity that could be potentially dangerous.
For my first use of Be My Eyes, my printer had an ink cartridge that was empty, before it would continue printing, I had to replace the cartrige. The problem was that my printer uses a separate cartrige for each color of ink. I had enough vision to see the light showing an empty cartrige, but not enough vision to know which of the four lights was lit.
Talk about the blind leading the blind, for my first use, I was connected to an assistant that said this was her first time assisting someone on the BME network. LOL! Anyway, it all worked out great, she couldn't tell me which color cartrige was empty, but was able to tell me that the third light was the one that was lit and that was all I needed.
I've had Be My Eyes installed on my iPhone for ass close to as long as it's been out. It replaced VizWiz (I think) that had a similar feature, though it wasn't live, that never worked for me. I don't need Be My Eyes very often, but I know I'll be using it again sometime.
Great app! I like that its free but I'd be willing to pay for this service. I could envision them doing something like what TapTapSee does. You could either buy x number of uses, or buy unlimited use for x amont of time. Though considering that you are engaging live assistance, probably the per use model would be more appropriate.
Another thought on how to attract vollenteers, though this would require participation of various merchants. For each time a vollenteer helps someone and gets a good rating, they get awarded points, that they can redeem for merchandise. Just like the rewards programs some credit cards are doing. It would not only encourage participation in the program as a helper, it would also encourage actually trying to be helpful. The catch would be getting merchants and vendors to donate products for the rewards program.
And finally, it saddens me that some people have nothing better to do than to get into a system intended to help others and to abuse it and to abuse the people trying to make it something good. People like that are seriously sick in the head.
Every thing has disadvantages, even being Mike Freeman has disadvantages. The key is to balance the disadvantages with the advantages and use your good sense to make an appropriate judgement call. In the case of Be My Eyes, be awayre that you will be dealing with a complete stranger and act acordingly, don't use the app for anything you wouldn't engage a stranger in face to face.
Since TapTapSee sends your pictures to a server for processing, and god only knows what happens to the pictures after that, I don't use TapTapSee for anything remotely personal such as identifying perscriptions. For that I use KNFB Reader since all processing is done right there on your device, not on a server somewhere in the cloud.
The same goes for Siri, I don't ask her anything I wouldn't ask a stranger on a crowded bus.
If you are smart and use good common sense, you can reap the benefits of services like TapTapSee, Be My Eyes, and Siri, and at the same time minimize any risk there might be in using them.
Using the Microwave with be my eyes
Is it possible that the helpers can read microwave buttons through the camera with be my eyes?
Re: Using the Microwave with be my eyes
Sure, the pront facing camera on recent iPhone models has more than enough resolution to clearly show the button markings. Probably the only trouble you might have is holding the phone too close to the panel for the camera to focus on it, but if you keep it about 8 to 12 inches away, it should work. I'd try it anyway, the worst that can happen is that they'll tell you there isn't enough detail to see the text on the buttons.
You could also do what I did, I got some self stick soft plastic dots with a bump in the middle, made specifically to mark things to provide tactile feedback for blind people. And with the help of a sighted familiy member, marked the important as well as the 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 0 buttons. Now I can use the microwave without sighted assistance.
Wrong Mike Freeman. (grin) I
Wrong Mike Freeman. (grin) I'm not on any social media except HeyTell.
App crashes in latest IOS
I don't know about anyone else here. I just tried Be My Eyes twice here with in a few days. Last night, and tonight. Both times, it tried to connect. Both times, it crashed and kicked me to my home screen. I have uninstalled the app and reinstalled it. I had someone try the same process and it worked on there unit. I am running an IPod touch fifth gen unit with the latest IOS on it. Am I missing something here or what? I'm just asking so I understand.
I am planning on retrying
I am planning on retrying this app tomorrow during the day, although I have had it in the past.
My mobility officer recommended it to me when it first came out early last year, and of course, I rushed to download it. That very same night - keep in mind that this is in UK (GMT) time. I must have waited 30 minutes before giving up and disconnecting, and after disconnected I also had the problem of VoiceOver failing to switch profiles. So, I deleted it.
Then, later last year, I tried it again at around 10pm GMT, and had a similar experience. I really would like to actually try this app and receive help from a volunteer, as yet this has never happened as I've always had to wait too long. I too was confused about the test call function, I was like where is that? How'd you do that? This is a great concept but until I retry it I'm as yet unable to give full feedback.
I stopped using this app
The first time I used BeMyEyes, it was great, I got help in less than a minute, and they were able to give me the answers I needed.
Unfortunately, ever since then when I tried to use it, I got no response at all and eventually gave up.
And now I hear about pranksters getting on the system and making fun of helpers and giving blind people incorrect answers. And no apparent way to report these people so they can be kicked off.
With the advent of BeSpecular, and the several very good experiences I've had with it, and their rating system to hopefully keep the assistants honest, I have withdrawn my recommendation for this app and uninstalled it from my phone.
That's too bad
Leave it to a few idiots to ruin a good thing. For the record though, I've not used this in a while either, and I also highly recommend BeSpecular. I used it last weekend, and within a couple minutes of my question being posted I had 10 responses. My first 2 were satisfactory and got me the information I needed.
I have a sighted agent who
I have a sighted agent who wants to get involved but when she enters her email she gets an alert that she has a half hour to change her password . She never gets t ehe amil. It's not in her inbox, not in spam, not in sent, no ware. And there is no contact team to my knowledge. I know I'm drifting but yeah I really need a bit of help on this one.
Unfortunately I have to agree
The first couple of times I used this app I had no problems, but lately I get no answer and I wait and wait and wait, I also use the bespecular app.
So, I've been using this app again and wow as I said in another forum topic, this app has drastically improved, thanks developers.
Back from the dead
Like the Phoenix, this app rises from the ashes of its past and is again a highly recommended app. My experiences with it over the past month or so have all been good ones.
Thanks so much for your kind
Thanks so much for your kind words!
We are happy that you think that the updated version is working well!
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out!
Thanks so much for your kind words - I happy to hear that you like it!
If you are not running on the latest version of the app, I suggest that you update it. The response time in the new version is less than 30 seconds. As you may know, we are fortunate to have hundreds of thousands of helper, so you can request help as much as you want without ever disturbing anyone.
A review of Be My Eyes
Well, when I first used this app I didn't like it because of the time it took to connect to other helpers. Now when I use it its become my go to app. I've tried it out of my home but it doesn't work that well. I suspect not by any fault of Be My Eyes, its more than likely data issues. My point is this is a great app. There have definitely been improvements and I like it.
Orko, the users do not need to pay for the glasses. The glasses and the data plan to run them are included in the AIRA subscription. AIRA has said that they are investigating building their own glasses.
Eating my words...
Well, it looks like I'm going to eat my words from an earlier post, because I've decided to sign up for the Aira service. The reason is that I've encountered a couple of situations where I question trusting my information or safety to an unknown and untrained volunteer and would much prefer a trained assistant. Ergo, Aira.
With that said, I'm not going to edit out my comments in the previous post as I believe they are still valid, but I realize now that for Aira it may have come down to using Google Glass and launch the service now or developing their own wearable technology and launching in a year or two. And if it were me, I'd go with Google Glass for now but with an eye towards developing wearable technology that's a better fit to what the service really needs.
I will keep Be My Eyes though, it's still a great app for getting assistance for those things where using untrained volunteers is appropriate.
Switching to Aira
While I still think this is a great app, especially for those who can't afford Aira, or Aira isn't available in their area, I am abandoning this app in favor of the Aira service for these reasons:
1. While I applaud the willingness of the volunteers who sign up with Be My Eyes to help the visually impaired users, they are after all is said and done, untrained volunteers, and I have run into several situations where I was reluctant to use Be My Eyes for that very reason. The assistants at Aira are not only trained, they are also under non disclosure agreements to protect any personal information they might learn about you in the course of assisting you.
2. In the past several months before I got the Aira service, about half the time I connected with somebody via Be My Eyes, the connection would be immediately dropped with no explanation given. Add to that that about half the time the app would time out with no connection at all. Very frustrating. So far in the two weeks I've had Aira and the half dozen or so times I've used it, I always get a connection very quickly and reliably and with no drops.
If there is any downside to Aira over Be My Eyes it would be that at present the Aira service isn't available 24 hours a day, but I suspect that may change as more explorers sign up for the service. Explorers is how Aira refers to its clients, I rather like it.
Aira is great, but
Aira is great, but it has a lot of maturing to do. The problems I've encountered are:
1. The equipment I got from them doesn't work, I've been complaining about it for over a month and Aira doesn't seem inclined to do anything about it.
2. There is no way to accurately track your usage. Aira acknowledges that the app has bugs that cause it to report more minutes used than are actually used, but it's even worse than that. There are four reports of minutes used available, the main usage screen's total minutes used, the main usage screen's minutes used by user, the detailed usage report, and Aira themselves, no two of them ever match in the number of minutes used being reported.
3. Ocassionally, you might need an Aira agent to take control of your computer, for example to help with a web page that isn't fully accessible, you would think that the Aira service would have a standardized remote control program they use, but no, each agent uses the remote control program they like, so if you want to have remote control capability regardless of the agent you connect to, you'll have to install three or more of these remote control programs. Ridiculous!
When you need tech support, most of the time nobody answers, so you have to leave a message, but they never return your call.
All of this is simply unacceptable for a paid service, so I am going to cancel my subscription, wait six months to a year, then try them again to see if the situation has improved. In the meantime I'm going back to Be My Eyes, it isn't perfect either, but at least with Be My Eyes, you aren't paying for those imperfections like you are with Aira.
Best App Ever for the Blind
I was born sighted in 1970 and became totally blind by 1980, so one could say I've been on all sides of the fence sight-wise, and I've seen the technology making life better and easier for the blind grow in amazing ways, but I have to say that Be My Eyes is the most incredible use of widely-available technology being used in the service of the blind I've seen so far, pardon the pun. Not only does it bring out the best people who just want to help but don't know how or have much time, but the ways in which it can be used to aid the blind are virtually unlimited. Not only that, but, unlike so much of today's technology for the blind, it doesn't come at an extortionate price: it's completely free for both the sighted helpers but for the blind user as well, ensuring availability to all blind users who can access a smartphone, but also that the wonderful sighted people who join are doing so because they want to, not because they're being paid. This builds an immediate bond of trust and gratitude that can't be bought for any price. There are no commitments on one's time, no obligations, and virtually no limitations on what can be accomplished, keeping personal safety and propriety in mind. The gentleman who implemented this concept should be given a medal. I simply can't say enough good things about this app. Please try it; you and your friends have absolutely nothing to lose and an amazing amount to gain.
I'm constantly appalled by how much time and space people have to waste in covering their... Well, you know! If one doesn't have the common sense God gave a gnat and does something stupid/dangerous with any product, it shouldn't be someone else's responsibility to think for them. This would eliminate 98% of all such lawsuits and allow people who currently are unwilling to take the chance of being blamed for someone else's lack of sense to freely make available products and services which could benefit millions. This is just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I just find it distressing that good people can't afford to get involved because some fool might use a product to hurt themselves. Take care of yourself and make careful decisions and don't punish others when you don't.