What Is the Be My Eyes App? Sighted Volunteers Can Help the Visually Challenged Virtually

There’s a new app meant to help connect people who need visual assistance for certain tasks, like setting the thermostat or reading the expiration date on food. The app is called “Be My Eyes” and helps connect visually impaired people with sighted volunteers.

The app is available in more than 180 languages and 150 countries around the world and has been helping connect the blind and low-vision users. It was originally released as an iOS-only app in 2015 and was released for Android users last year.

The app got some celebrity attention Thursday when singer Bea Miller tweeted about using it. Miller tweeted at her followers asking whether or not they use the app. “It’s the purest thing ever, I just got a video call from a blind or visually impaired woman who needed to borrow my eyes to properly set her thermostat she was so sweet,” she shared.

Miller also answered a few questions for her fans who tweeted back. She explained that when a volunteer signs up for the app, they’re added to a network of sighted people who can get notified when a visually impaired person needs help seeing something. She also responded to users who said they were anxious or nervous to use the app, though they wanted to.

Volunteers who sign up for the app will get a notification when someone needs help seeing something. When the first volunteer accepts the request for help the volunteer is connected with the person via audio and video connection. If a volunteer can’t answer the call right away, the next volunteer in the network will have the option to. More than a million people volunteer on the app, according to the company, so there’s always someone available and ready to answer a call to help out.

The app is available in the App Store as well as Google Play. The app has very high reviews for both devices. In the App Store the reviews average out to 4.8 stars out of five and in Google Play they average out to 4.9 out of five.

There are similar apps available that help connect those who want to offer visual assistance virtually to those who have a hard time seeing or who are blind like the apps TapTapSee and iDentifi.

apps on a phone screen Social Network applications including Facebook, Instagram, Slack, Snapchat, Twitter, Skype, Viber , Teamsnap and Messenger, are on display on a smartphone on March 21, in Washington D.C. Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

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