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It’s Christmas and the New Year — the perfect time to make a wish for a more compassionate year ahead. And thanks to technology, you won’t even have to get up from your couch to do that. You just have to “donate” your eyes to the visually impaired and help them see.
You can do that by using a novel iOS app and the camera in it. Be My Eyes is an app that connects the blind and visually impaired with sighted helpers from around the world via live video/audio chat. The Be My Eyes App explainer video covers it.
The crowdsourcing idea is simple in its brilliance. The visually impaired need some help with a simple task. For instance, picking up the right color from a shade card. They connect to people with sight through the app and a volunteer picks up. The volunteer understands the task through the remote video call and helps.
The micro-tasks are meant to be so simple that they shouldn’t take up much of your time.
The app is out there, but it needs a community of volunteers. The outlook is good because the app can be used by volunteers around the world. So far, the community speaks more than 50 languages. You could be in Tokyo and help someone out in Toledo. A snowballing community of half-a-million volunteers. These statistics on the site are also a suggestion of success.
Read the Frequently asked questions on the site which has the interesting backstory on the app’s beginnings. Stay aware with important points on phone abuse and the default time to receive calls. There are also many videos on YouTube you can check out for user experience stories.
Now, go spread the word.
And it’s not about just giving a few minutes of your time.
— European Blind Union (@euroblind) December 19, 2016
The visually impaired are aware of technology and the pros and cons of online accessibility. But for the sighted, the digital age has opened many more routes for community participation.
There are the usual ways: you can contribute to an online fund-raising campaign or help a noble cause with a push of technology. Then there’s an opportunity like Be My Eyes, which is also a chance to interact with someone from another culture… and leave a moment of compassion behind.
What do you think about the idea? Tell us about your experience if you decide to sign up?