Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that connects people with sight loss to sighted volunteers using a live video call.
Once installed on your Android or iPhone smartphone, it uses the internal camera on your phone to capture a live view of what’s around you and shares that with a volunteer. This allows a volunteer to ‘be your eyes’, and support you with everyday tasks.
The service currently has over 3 million active volunteers, in over 150 countries and is available in over 180 languages.
How to use Be My Eyes
- Download the app for your smartphone:
Android – Google play store
iOS – App Store
- Select to open the app – ‘locate Be My Eyes’
- Review the terms and conditions – if you chose to agree, select ‘I Agree’ at the bottom of the page.
- The next screen is the main screen of the app, which enables you to call a volunteer to support you. Select ‘Call first available volunteer’.
The app will then send a message to all volunteers currently available. Once a volunteer has accepted they’ll then be able to see the view from the rear camera of your device.
Here are two useful tutorials on how to sign up and use Be My Eyes:
Things to keep in mind
- To use this service, you will require an active internet connection, whether that be through WIFI or a mobile data connection
- When using this service – never share any personal information with the volunteers such as address, full name or contact details.
- The service can be used to help you read letters and instructions. We strongly advise that you do not allow a volunteer to read a bank statement or letter that contains sensitive or personal information about you or people in your household.
- Be mindful of your expectations – this service is provided by members of the public, to which many of whom may not have had formal sight loss training. Also, the volunteers will not be Guide Dogs experts.
Type of assistance Be My Eyes is useful for
People with vision impairments have been using this service since 2014 and have found it useful in many ways. Here are some examples of how you can use the service.
Guide Dog specific:
- Finding and collecting dog faeces.
- Reading dog medication instructions.
- Finding your dog lead or harness.
- Selecting the appropriate dog collar by colour.
- Describing injuries on dog.
Day to day uses:
- Describing pictures.
- Starting inaccessible exercise equipment such as treadmills or bikes.
- Reading product labels and checking expiration dates on food, to avoid eating things that could be out of date and harmful.
- Reading a computer screen – when assistive technology fails, or a computer is updating.
- Reading signs indoors and outdoors.
- Reading menus.
- Reading recipes.
- Reading public transport timetables.
- Reading prices in stores.
- Reading medication instructions.
- Checking colour and matching style of clothing items.
- Checking of makeup.
- Reading instructions for assembly of goods.
- Checking for dirt on floors before hoovering or mopping.
- Finding dropped items on the floor or surfaces.
- Finding remote controls.
- When in a new place like a hotel, locating plugs, light switches and air conditioning.
- Helping to fault find on a central heating system.
- Read electronic displays
From the app, you can access specialist support from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Lloyds Bank and Procter & Gamble.
This assistance can be used for:
- Specialist support on Google products.
- Using features or troubleshooting Microsoft Office Suite.
- If you are a Lloyds Bank customer, you can currently get help with reading your bank card or even your statements and correspondence from the bank. This service is only to be used by Lloyds Bank customers. Never share this information through the volunteer support on the app.
- Reading of pregnancy tests.
This assistance can change, and is not guaranteed. We will update this information on a routine basis.
Did you know that there are many other tools and devices available that can help you navigate your needs with vision impairment?