“Be My Eyes” App

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Alun Davies reviews this must have App for blind and partially sighted people.

I have been totally blind since 1978. In 2015 I discovered the iPhone and this I told friends was the single most important improvement to my quality of life. I did not expect to better it – but I have been proved wrong with my discovery of the “Be My Eyes” app.

The concept behind the app is remarkably simple. At the touch of a button on the app a call goes out to a network of sighted volunteers across the country. When one of them answers it, they use the video facility in you mobile to tell you what the telephone is pointed at. And this can be anything – the colour of your jumper, the sell-by date on food, what is on your computer screen, a road-sign, whether your light is on or off. It is literally like having eyes at the end of your telephone. Twice I have used them to tell me what colour my shoes are as I have several pairs that feel identical but are different colours and I’ve gone to a couple of meetings in odd shoes.

All the volunteers are lovely helpful people. I have had two of them say to me that receiving the call has made their day. The volunteers are usually available during the day – I have not yet tried evenings. In terms of the app itself, it is free both to download and use. The operation is simple. when you open it, it takes you automatically to the “Call first available volunteer” button. The app has its own voice messages to tell you what is happening and is fully accessible.

I cannot praise this app enough in terms of what it has meant to my life. It means I can be as independent as I want, and it also takes pressure off my partner and friends who don’t now have to be my surrogate eyes all the time. If you have a smart phone download the app today – you won’t regret it!