What is Be My Eyes?

Be My Eyes is a FREE mobile app designed to bring sight to the blind and visually impaired. With the press of a button, the app establishes a live video connection between blind and visually impaired users and sighted volunteers. Every day, volunteers are lending their eyes to solve challenges both big and small in the lives of the blind and visually impaired. With over half a million users across 150 countries, Be My Eyes has grown to become the largest online community for the blind and visually impaired. The app harnesses the power of generosity, technology and human connection to help blind and visually impaired individuals lead more independent lives.

 

FAQ for Blind and Visually Impaired Be My Eyes Users:

(A message from Be My Eyes to all blind and visually impaired people)

How does it work?

It’s simple. When you log onto the app, the main screen displays a button that reads “connect to first available volunteers.” If you need visual assistance with something, simply tap this button. Be My Eyes will call a sighted volunteer (who speaks your language) and establish a video connection between you two – using your phone’s camera (located at the top right corner of the non-screen side of your phone) and both participants’ microphones. The sighted volunteers will explain the things that you point your camera at. The volunteers are called at random, and our technology matches based on language and time zone, so you never need to worry about disturbing anyone!

 

From the sighted volunteer’s perspective, they receive a notification on their smartphone that a Be My Eyes user is seeking help. If they choose to accept the call, a live video connection is established between both parties. If a volunteer is unable to answer a call, someone else will step in as the call is automatically forwarded to other volunteers until answered. Most calls are answered within 60 seconds. Due to the size of our amazing volunteer network and sophisticated matching technology, the app enables you to request assistance in your native language 24 hours a day.

Whether you need support distinguishing between household products, reading instructions, or help with a technical difficulty – our volunteers are here for you.

 

How much can I use Be My Eyes?

AS MUCH AS YOU WANT…

Right now there are over half a million sighted volunteers in the Be My Eyes community who are ready and willing to assist you. We would like to stress that you can, and should, feel free to make calls as frequently as you wish without ever disturbing anyone. In fact, we have many eager volunteers who are still waiting to receive their first help request. All this is to say – you can definitely use Be My Eyes as much as you possibly want!

Is Be My Eyes free?

Yes. Be My Eyes is FREE no matter how much you use it!

 

Making the first call

Once the app is downloaded and your email address is confirmed, it’s time to make your first call. Get a few tips and tricks on how to make the first call here

 

How are people using Be My Eyes?

There are many situations where a pair of friendly eyes can be helpful for those with visual impairment, and Be My Eyes is used to solve a wide range of daily tasks. No request is too big or too small! 

The following list provides examples of some of the creative ways people are using the Be My Eyes app:

  • Finding lost items
  • Describing pictures, paintings or other artwork
  • Matching or explaining colors
  • Reading labels on household products
  • Reading on computer screens if websites are inaccessible or screen readers are not available
  • Shopping in supermarkets
  • Identifying the expiration date on perishable food packages
  • Familiarizing yourself with new locations
  • Distinguishing between products (Canned foods, shampoos and soaps, spices etc.)
  • Determining if lights are turned on or off
  • Finding out when public transportation (busses, trains, etc.) are departing or arriving
  • Resolving electrical or technical issues

 

Right now there are over half a million sighted volunteers in the Be My Eyes community who are ready and willing to assist you.

 

In what circumstances should I NOT use Be My Eyes?

Please keep in mind that the generous sighted helpers in the Be My Eyes network are volunteers, and we cannot guarantee the quality of their help or take responsibility for any of their actions. You may under no circumstances share any nude, unlawful, hateful or sexually suggestive content via this service, and you should never display any items containing personal information such as credit cards, passports, envelopes that list your address, etc. Please do not use Be My Eyes in situations that may cause danger to yourself or others. We recommend that you take these simple precautions for the best possible experience with Be My Eyes, and please report cases of app misuse or abuse you encounter by emailing us at info@bemyeyes.com immediately.

 

The following are situations where Be My Eyes should not be used:

  • Identifying credit cards
  • Identifying mail that displays your personal address
  • Identifying anything on your passport
  • Anything involving social security numbers, bank information, insurance etc.
  • Anything that can put your health in danger
  • Identifying or taking medicine
  • Any health related issues.
  • Bullying or practical jokes

We appreciate your cooperation in making Be My Eyes a source of support, kindness, and empowerment for all of our users.

How long does it take to get help?

Due to our huge network of volunteers and our unique matching technology, we are now able to match over 90% of calls within 60 seconds. If your request is not answered within 2 minutes, then we recommend hanging up and trying to call again.

 

Are there limits to the length of my calls?

There is no limit to how long a call can be, but it would be a nice gesture to let the volunteer know if you have a task that you think may take a long time. Most volunteers are willing to accommodate any request, but seeing as they are going about their daily lives, it never hurts to ask. Remember that you can always call another volunteer to help you solve the issue in case your first match has to go.

Will the volunteer know my name or personal information?

 

Be My Eyes is designed to be anonymous, so the volunteer will never be given your phone number, name, address, email, location or any other personal information. The volunteer will simply receive a push notification that a Be My Eyes user is seeking help, and will accept the call if he/she is available. You can choose to introduce yourself with your first name, but it is completely up to you and what you are comfortable with.

Will the volunteer speak my language?

Yes. Be My Eyes connects you with volunteers based on the language that your phone is set to. If your phone is set to English, then we will only connect you to English-speaking volunteers. If your phone is set to Spanish, then we will only connect you to Spanish-speaking volunteers – and so on. Be My Eyes is now available in more than 90 different languages. If you speak more than one language, then you can add additional languages to your phone under “Settings”.

 

Can I ask for help in the middle of the night?

You may request help 24/7. We match based on language and time zone – meaning we only contact volunteers during their daytime hours. For example, if you speak English, are based in the US and need assistance in the middle of the night, then we will connect you to an English-speaking volunteer in England or Australia for example, where it is daytime. Our volunteer network is so large that no matter when you call, it is almost certain that there is a volunteer who speaks your language for whom it is daytime.

Can I use Be My Eyes without WiFi?

Yes. Be My Eyes works over any viable network connection. If you are not on a WiFi connection when you make a Be My Eyes call, you will automatically use your 3g, 4g or LTE data.

Who are the sighted volunteers?

Our sighted volunteers are friendly citizens who have decided they are willing to lend their sight as they go about their daily lives. If a volunteer is busy when they receive a call, Be My Eyes technology will find the next available volunteers right away. In fact, we send one call request to multiple volunteers at a time to ensure that you get connected with someone as quickly as possible.

Right now there are over half a million sighted volunteers in the Be My Eyes community who are ready and willing to assist you – in every time zone and in over 90 languages. We would like to stress that you, therefore, can, and should, feel free to make calls as frequently as you wish without ever disturbing anyone. In fact, we have many eager volunteers who are still waiting to receive their first help request, so you can use Be My Eyes as much as you possibly want!

Below you can read testimonials from a few of our sighted volunteers:

  1. “The feeling of usefulness when you answer a call and can successfully help someone cannot be described. I am always eagerly awaiting the next one.”
  2. “I am so happy to have been helpful. Thanks for this application, thanks for helping people who don’t see well and thanks for giving me this moment of joy, it is great to feel useful…”
  3. “I just helped for the first time and was more than excited! This is awesome to be able to be someone’s eyes in a time of need! Thank you for the opportunity to help!”
  4. “My first opportunity to help went very well. What a wonderful way to connect people. Thank for making my day. I already love this as it is so easy to help others. I look forward to more opportunities help.”
  5. “I was so thrilled to be able to help someone within a couple of hours of installing and signing up for the app. It was such a wonderful experience to be able to help someone.”

What do our blind and visually impaired users think?

Below you can read a few testimonials from blind and visually impaired users:

  1. “I do not know what I would do without this app. It has been a lifesaver for me.”
  2. “I’m quite new to the be my eyes service but find it extremely helpful. I have only used it a hand full of times I can tell you the results have been 100%. I had a man help me tell between different types of tea and another woman identify a can of tomatoes. It sounds like a small thing but I can tell you it is not! So many times I have opened the wrong can and this is very disappointing, to say the least. I just want to say thank you to all the volunteers who so nicely give up their time to do this. Remember it is the small things in a person’s life that make a big difference.”
  3. “I have had the app for more than a year. I wanted to give you some examples of ways that I use the app, Be My Eyes volunteers have located dropped items on the floor or a worktop surface.
    Volunteers have described the color, and markings on medication tablets.
    Volunteers have assisted in locating specific pages in books
    Volunteers have read settings on digital washing machines and dryers.
    Volunteers have looked through catalogs with me, and read descriptions of items, and prices.
    Volunteers have identified CD’s and helped sort them with me.Be My Eyes has been a valuable part of my life. Probably the thing I am most grateful for is the ability to ask for sighted assistance with things that could be considered nonessential.”
  4. I am thankful for all of the volunteers who give of their time so freely, and who are so kind and patient with me.”

 

Keep Be My Eyes updated to the latest version

Please make sure to update your app to its latest version in order to have the best possible experience with Be My Eyes. We frequently make incremental changes and fixes to the app, so the functionality is always improving. The app will have the same look, feel and ease of use that you’re used to, so you can update without any worries. 

Here’s how you can update Be My Eyes. Go App Store, select “Updates”, then select “Be My Eyes” and press “Update”.