An app that helps the blind by connecting them to sighted volunteers who can see through their video camera has been gaining a lot of attention since its recent launch. Be My Eyes, as the app is known, was developed by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a 50-year-old Dane, and funded by three different Danish groups. Wiberg is visually impaired.
“Its great to see people being really innovative in this space,” says Eliza Cooper, a social media consultant who has been blind since childhood. She recently tested the app to find out the expiration date on her milk carton.
“I didn’t know where the expiration date usually is,” says Cooper. So her volunteer looked at her own milk carton and then told Cooper where to aim the camera.
What made her apprehensive, Cooper says, was not the technology but the person who would be on the other end. “Maybe someone who is lonely and just wants a connection, and they choose to use this app,” she says. “That made me nervous.”
But she soon realized that wasn’t the case. The woman Cooper spoke to didn’t ask to exchange names. “I felt good about not having any pressure to identify anything more than I wanted to,” says Cooper.
Click the media player above to hear more about Eliza Cooper’s experience using ‘Be My Eyes.’
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.