Often, technology works best when used as a tool for connecting people, rather than as an end in itself. This is the logic that has propelled Hans Jørgen Wiberg — a “non-techie guy from Denmark” — as he has created a smartphone app that has empowered tens of thousands of blind people and fomented a “tiny revolution in volunteering”.
His application, Be My Eyes, is a way for blind people to get around the occasional discomfort of having to rely on neighbours, friends or loved ones for small, every-day tasks — such as reading a label, finding the front door or picking up something that has fallen on the floor. Users simply initiate a video phone call and are connected to one of a bank of sighted volunteers in the same time zone, who direct people to solve their respective challenges from afar.
In the first 24 hours of the application going live, more than 10,000 volunteers and 1000 blind users signed up. As of 2019, the application is available in over 150 countries, in over 180 languages, and counts 2.5 million volunteers and almost 140,000 blind and low-vision users.Tags: Blind, Diversity and Inclusion