Monday, January 19, 2015

Be My Eyes crowdsources visual help for the blind

We've seen smartphones act as visual tools for the blind, reading texts and identifying colors, but this Be My Eyes goes even further while sidestepping automated visual recognition algorithms and relying on actual people to do the job.

We can think of Be My Eyes as a way to lend your eyes to someone who needs help. Using its app (iOS only for now) a blind person can request help for all sorts of situations: identify food, check labels, or whatever they need help with, and the app will put them in contact with a seeing helper that will -hopefully- be able to help them.

Someone needing help needs only launch the app, and it will be put in contact via videochat with the first available helper. The helper will be able to see what the blind person is pointing their smartphone camera at, and answer their questions (or even guide them to a specific spot, I imagine).

Helpers will also be rewarded with "points" for helping, which will hopefully allow the service to filter out people that aren't really that helpful. All in all, a nice useful app that may make life a little brighter for those who can't see the world as most people see it.

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