The App That Helps Blind People “See”

Be My Eyes hopes that by pairing volunteer readers with sight-impaired individuals, assistance is just a video chat away.

Danish non-profit Be My Eyes has launched an iOs app that connects the blind community with the sighted, allowing them to navigate the world with a little added help. Created by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, Be My Eyes uses the video function on iPhones to provide "eyes" for its over 4,000 visually impaired users.


It works like this: One of the more than 55,000 sighted app users gets a notification on his or her iPhone 4s (or newer) alerting them that a blind user needs assistance. If they're available, they accept the request and are connected via the Be My Eyes app. The blind user points the back facing camera towards the scene they need help deciphering, asks the sighted user if the milk they're holding is expired, which shelf the shirt they're looking for is on etc., and after a little chatting painlessly move on with their day. If for some reason the two don't hit it off, there is a helpful block feature.

Available in the app store since January 15, Be My Eyes was conceived and presented by Wiberg at a Startup Weekend event in Denmark in April 2012. Upon seeing the presentation, a team of volunteers rallied around the concept and helped develop the innovative tool. While Be My Eyes has received funding and backing from the Danish Blind Society, the Velux Foundation and the software development studio Robocat, the organization is still figuring out its business model. They are currently accepting donations and hope to settle on a new model by the time their initial funding runs out this fall. The app is also open source, so those interested can help turn it into something even better as well as assist in translating it into other languages.

"It's my hope that by helping each other as an online community, Be My Eyes will make a big difference in the everyday lives of blind people all over the world," said Wiberg.



Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.

It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less