Be My Eyes is a global community that connects people who are blind or have low vision with sighted volunteers or company representatives. On the app, volunteers assist blind and low-vision users through a live video connection and work together to tackle challenges and handle a wide range of tasks. With the Specialized Help feature, blind and low-vision users can connect with company representatives for accessibile customer support. The app harnesses the power of generosity, technology and human connection to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives. Be My Eyes is accessible in more than 150 countries worldwide and in over 180 languages. The app is free and available for both iOS and Android.
Blind or low-vision person requests assistance
As a blind or low-vision person, whenever you need visual assistance, our volunteers are happy to help. Through the live video call, you and a volunteer can communicate directly and solve a problem. The volunteer will help guide which direction to point your camera, what to focus on or when to turn on your torch.
Sighted volunteer receives video call
As a sighted volunteer you can help just by installing the Be My Eyes app. A blind or a low-vision user may need help with anything from checking expiry dates, distinguishing colors, reading instructions or navigating new surroundings.
No More Worries
Diane – Meriden, CT, USA
Like many people in the Be My Eyes Community, Diane learned about Be My Eyes from some of her friends and uses it for day-to-day tasks like setting her washing machine to the right setting, sorting out her groceries, and checking if her clothes match. Having the app in her back pocket means a great deal to Diane, even if only for quick questions or small tasks, because it frees her of having to rely on friends or family if she ever needs sighted assistance. Before incorporating the app into her life, she remembers being frustrated about not getting things done, but now she feels more independent and better-equipped.
One particular experience that really stands out to Diane, was when a volunteer helped her find her lost cat. Diane came home one day and realized her cat was nowhere to be found. She was extremely worried and started to stress about how to go tackle the problem. Diane decided that Be My Eyes was best suited for the job, so she opened the app. A friendly woman answered her call and helped Diane stay calm. Together they searched for the cat; The two of them combed through nearly the entire house until finally discovering the cat’s hiding place – in the corner underneath Diane’s bed. Diane was so relieved to find her beloved pet, but it was the volunteer’s willingness to console her that she appreciated the most.
Putting trust into a stranger’s hands, can be daunting, but with Be My Eyes volunteers who shows such great kindness, it is not so scary after all. Even situations like this, that make a person feel panicked, are no match for a helpful pair of eyes and a go-getter attitude. While it may be true that Be My Eyes is most commonly useful for daily tasks or run-of-the-mill issues, bigger challenges like Diane’s are not out of the question and solving them is as simple as a phone call.
Context Clues for Konnie
Konnie – Rapid City, SD, USA
Rapid City, South Dakota local, Konnie, is the mother of two teenagers whom she homeschools. She doubles as a transcriptionist, working with a range of material from podcasts, sermons and interviews to focus group discussions, college lectures and medical scripts — even trials! Konnie is also completely blind.
“I never know what I’m gonna get from day to day”, Konnie shares. Her latest endeavor is working with a company that transcribes videos, mainly for YouTube. Konnie says the “neat” thing about it, is that she gets to help people, who are deaf or hard of hearing and those who are new English-speakers, in her own way. She empathizes with the nature of the work as well as its cause, “I get to help others with their disabilities or other challenges, even though I have a challenge of my own”. And when she faces a challenge with her vision, she pops open Be My Eyes.
The use Konnie makes of Be My Eyes spotlights a few advantages it holds over other visually assistive apps. Chief among them is the human factor. The volunteers, who are only a phone call away, are able to understand context that artificial intelligence, for example, can’t read. When Konnie is sent a video, she wants to have the exact context of the footage in order to transcribe it accurately.
Whether it’s a picture displaying some kind of scenario, a name she wants spelled correctly, or anything she can’t reference in the audio, Konnie simply makes a Be My Eyes call to get a fitting description. And because she is also a mother and teacher, her demanding schedule sometimes means she works late at night. The 24-hour, anywhere in the world availability that Be My Eyes ensures, gives Konnie an upper hand.
Be My Eyes suits people like Konnie who lead busy lives because it functions like a tool in their back pocket that’s there when they need something reliable and flexible. And Konnie isn’t partial to using the app in her professional life.
Be My Eyes improves customer support for people who are blind and low-vision
Specialized Help is a new and better way for your company or organization to connect with blind and low-vision customers and provide them with improved, more accessible support.
How Specialized Help works
Too many products, services, and websites are inaccessible for the 253M people who are blind or have a low level of vision. With Specialized Help, your customers can connect with you, have personalized assistance, resolve issues and handle tasks directly via video call.
|‘Specialized Help’ option presents menu with available companies for the blind or low-vision user.||Blind or low-vision user requests assistance in the Be My Eyes app.||Customer support agent picks up the call.||Blind or low-vision user receives real-time visual assistance with the task at hand from a company representative.|
Customizable Company Profile
Create a company profile with useful information for your customers such as opening hours, company description and supported languages. You can also set specific geographic availability and target the markets in which you operate.
Access important metrics of call success rates, average waiting times and customer feedback. By helping your customers you can gather actionable insight into your customer journey.
Improve customer support
Increase customer retention by providing tailored service and improving standards of accessibility.
Receive valuable customer feedback
Each Be My Eyes call is an opportunity for improvement. Increase your awareness of how well things work from an accessibility standpoint and find ways to improve or design more inclusive products and services.
Make your reach more inclusive
The blind and low-vision community has high standards of accessibility. Integrating these standards can improve your receptivity and expand your company or organization’s reach inclusively.
Strengthen your CSR strategy and brand image
Strengthen your brand image towards the blind and low-vision community by joining Be My Eyes’ Specialized Help. Being a part of the platform means taking an innovative step forward and is a chance for your company or organization to contribute to the social good.
Companies they work with
Be My Eyes to offer tech support from Microsoft for customers that are blind or have low vision
Technical support now available in 12 countries to Be My Eyes customers from Microsoft Disability Answer Desk in new app update.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Feb. 21, 2018 – Be My Eyes, a free smartphone app that supports people who are blind or have low vision, will now offer their customers technology support from Microsoft Corp. in 12 countries. Through the new app update via the Specialized Help menu, customers will be able to connect with the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk, which offers free technical support for customers with disabilities.
Be My Eyes is an app, available on iOS and Android, that connects customers who are blind or have low vision with over 850,000 volunteers for guidance and help with tasks like cooking, finding lost items, catching a bus, reviewing mail and more. As many requests to Be My Eyes volunteers are technology-related, this is a good opportunity to collaborate with Microsoft for support.
Technology support from the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk is available to Be My Eyes customers in Australia, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.
Collaboration with Microsoft
Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. As part of that mission, Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk was created for customers who need technical support by multiple means of communication, such as phone, chat, email, American Sign Language, or video.
Microsoft is the first organization offering Be My Eyes customers a direct connection through the new app feature, Specialized Help. Be My Eyes’ collaboration with Microsoft will enable customers who are blind or have low vision to receive technical assistance and provide an option for volunteers to point people to that need additional support.
“Given the high volume of interest from our customers for technical support, collaborating with Microsoft creates a great service for our community,” said Hans Jørgen Wiberg, creator of Be My Eyes. “Every day, volunteers around the world are helping people that are blind or have low vision solve challenges both big and small. We are honored to have Microsoft’s support to help individuals lead more independent lives.”
In the next update of the Be My Eyes app, there will be a second button added to the main screen that routes to the Specialized Help menu. Customers will be connected through video the same way they are today, but instead of reaching out to volunteers, customers will work directly with a member of the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk.
“Be My Eyes provides a new and innovative way for our customers to get technical support,” said Neil Barnett, Director Disability Answer Desk, Microsoft. “With a simple tap, customers can access the Disability Answer Desk from their phone to get the help they need with Microsoft products and services.”
Be My Eyes is on a journey with Microsoft to help more people utilize technology as a means of empowerment to achieve more in their daily lives. Be My Eyes welcomes feedback about what other customers of companies want added into the Specialized Help menu and look forward to bringing unique services to the community.
Be My Eyes now offers customer service from Google Disability Support on the Specialized Help platform
Customer support from Google just got a whole lot easier for people who are blind or have a low level of vision. Through the Be My Eyes Specialized Help platform, blind and low-vision users can now connect directly with the Google Disability Support team.
Copenhagen, Denmark – Be My Eyes, an app that offers visual assistance for people who are blind or have a low level of vision now offers live customer support from Google through the Specialized Help platform. Through the Specialized Help menu, blind and low-vision users can now contact the Google Disability Support team through a live video connection for questions on assistive tools and accessibility features within Google’s products.
Originally, Be My Eyes offered blind and low-vision users visual assistance from sighted volunteers, who could sign up to help by downloading the app. Because many calls were concerned with issues connected to specific products or services, Be My Eyes decided to expand with a customer support platform, Specialized Help, in February 2018, so that blind and low-vision individuals could receive support directly from company professionals. Now, blind and low-vision users can contact the Google Disability Support team through the Specialized Help feature in the Be My Eyes app.
Google will be the second company onboard the Specialized Help platform. Besides Google, Be My Eyes users can also contact Microsoft through the platform. Be My Eyes is planning to expand the Specialized Help service even further to include more companies within different sectors.
It is Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful for everyone, and accessibility is a core consideration for Google from the earliest design stages to release. Now, Google also offers customer support that is accessible and more efficient for their blind and low-vision customers. The Google Disability Support team will be open Monday through Friday 8AM-5PM PT, currently available in English only. Google can be contacted through the Be My Eyes Specialized Help platform by users in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Image displaying the countries where the Google Specialized Help service will be available: Australia, Canada, UK, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippines. USA, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, and Mexico.