The pandemic has made the lives of those with visual impairments particularly more difficult. Along with social distancing, working and studying from home, comes social isolation. We can’t easily ask someone next to us to help us navigate our way through the world when we’re physically far apart.

Visual assistive technologies help those with vision impairments understand and contextualize themselves. Be My Eyes is just this, a clever technology to help those with visual impairments get where they need to be or help them make informed decisions.

Think of Be My Eyes as crowd-sourced vision. When a person with a vision impairment is having difficulty navigating their current context, they can use the app to seek assistance. With thousands of sighted participants who are willing to help, the non-sighted user can find their way around. The non-sighted user shares the video from their phone camera with sighted participants. They can then help identify or clarify the surroundings for the user.

For example, they may ask you to read a sign, or to let them know what color something in their immediate context is. With your assist, they can get the information they need.

For all of the reasons we love to use the Internet, it does have its lows and highs. This is by far one of the cleverest ways of using the power of the crowd in a productive way to help someone with vision impairments. Becoming a sighted participant is free. Just download the app and get started.