Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a free smartphone app which connects people with sight loss to sighted volunteers.

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 a multitude of tasks and scenarios that may arise day to day.

The service currently has over 3 million active volunteers, in over 150 countries and is available in over 180 languages.

On this page

How to use Be My Eyes

  • Download the app for your appropriate smart phone:
    Android – Google play store
    iOS – App Store
  • Select to open the app – ‘locate Be My Eyes’  The logo of Be My Eyes app - a round blue spiked circle
  • 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:

How to Download and Sign Up as Blind or Low-vision User

Part 1

How to Download and Sign Up as Blind or Low-vision User

Part 2

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:

  • Locating 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.
  • Checking dates on food, avoiding 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

Covid-19 specific:

  • Helping to observe social distancing in queues.
  • Helping to find a product left on a counter by a chemist, enabling staff to preserve social distancing rules.
  • Reading new information on medication that would normally be read by the chemist.
  • Helping read a sign outside a shop, explaining why it was unexpectedly closed.
  • Use in stores to locate markings for keeping distance from other people and signs that are constantly changing.
  • Reading the shopping receipt from someone whom may have been shopping for you.
  • Help guiding you as you put your shopping away.

Specialist support

From the app, you can access specialist support from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Lloyds Bank and Proctor and 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 it not guaranteed. We will update this information on a routine basis.

Disclaimer: Whilst Guide Dogs may be able to suggest various third party websites and third party applications which may be able to assist you, those are not endorsed by Guide Dogs.  Guide Dogs has no control over those third parties and cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information and support they can provide or the suitability and quality of any products or services they provide.

Get in touch

For support with any of these items you can contact our Technology Services team