Essentially there are two groups of people that use the app:
- Visually helpful volunteers – these people signup for the app and when a visually impaired person needs help they provide visual aid by speaking to the person on the other end.
- Visually impaired individuals – these people signup for the app and when they are having problems understanding what they are (or are not) looking at they can turn on their camera take video with their phone and it will be sent to a volunteer, they can then ask the volunteer for help in deciding what they are looking at.
So, the visually impaired ask questions about the scenes they are shooting with their phone camera and volunteers will provide an answer.
It’s easy to register as Sighted and I assume Blind. I downloaded the app, registered and tried a test call in minutes. You have to enable notifications, microphone access and camera access on your phone to use the app. The camera access is required to display the scene/video on your phone.
According to the app there are 492K sighted individuals, 34.1K blind individuals and they have been helped 214K times.
Sounds like an easy way to help the world.
There was no requests to identify a language to use, so it may only work for English speakers. And there was no way to disable/enable it for a period of time when you don’t want to be disturbed. But maybe you would just close the app.
But other than that it was simple to use and seemed effective.
Now if there were only an app that would provide the same service for the hearing impaired to supply captions or a “filtered” audio feed to ear buds.
The world need more apps like this…