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Be My Eyes is a free app (Android and Apple) that connects sighted people to those who are blind or have low vision with the use of video calling technology. Anyone can sign up to be a volunteer to answer simple questions that require a pair of eyes. It is a fantastic way to help people wherever you are, whenever you have the time. You can be someone’s eyes for as little as two minutes. Welcome to micro-volunteering!


Micro-volunteering is a relatively new and rising trend in the non-profit community. Non-profits can include research, charitable or non-governmental organizations. It is the process of providing short-term, low-commitment opportunities with the goal of engaging more volunteer prospects. Micro-volunteering, in general, describes a volunteer or team of volunteers completing small tasks that make up a larger project.

There are many benefits to this type of volunteering for the organizations and the members they assist as well as for the volunteers.

Benefits of Micro-Volunteering for the Non-Profit

  • Can broaden the volunteer database.
  • May result in the potential to convert micro-volunteers to traditional volunteers.
  • Engages volunteers in a new way and can keep them motivated.
  • Provides increased diversity among volunteers.

Benefits of Micro-Volunteering for the Volunteers

  • Can provide more flexibility for volunteering.
  • Volunteering can be for short outcome-focused assignments.
  • Volunteers can learn more about an organization before fully committing.
  • Volunteers can give of themselves for the greater good.

Be My Eyes is a form of virtual micro-volunteering where the tasks are usually distributed and completed online via an internet-connected device which includes smartphones. There is typically no application process, screening, or training period. 


Hans Jorge Wiberg, a visually impaired Danish furniture craftsman, realized that blind and low vision people often need help with everyday tasks. He knew that video calling was already being used by the blind. They typically called friends and family by video for help with simple questions such as: What is in this can? What is the expiration date on this food? Is this a red or a black sweater? When a blind or low vision person can easily get answers to these simple questions, they can experience more independence.

The problem is that regular helpers are not always available. Also, too, there is the issue of wearing out one’s welcome. What Wiberg realized was that the world is full of people who could help at different times. Thus, in 2012, he launched his Be My Eyes startup to connect people with volunteers from across the globe. The Be My Eyes app was released for iOS on January 15th 2015 and within 24 hours the app had more than 10,000 users. An Android version was released on October 5, 2017.

Today (August 2023), there are over 6.7 million volunteers worldwide to help with questions from over 500,00 blind and low vision people. The app is available in 150 countries and 180 languages. Currently, the number of volunteers outnumber the vision-impaired people who use the app!


  • Reading home appliances.
  • Reading product labels.
  • Matching outfits and identifying clothes.
  • Help in the kitchen.
  • Reading digital displays or computer screens.
  • Navigating TV or game menus.
  • Operating vending machines or kiosks.
  • Sorting music collections or other libraries.
  • Picking jewelry or crafts.


Anonymous sighted volunteers can take a call whenever they have time and from wherever they are. If they are busy and just don’t have time to answer, they can pass, and another volunteer gets the call.

Anonymous users can ask simple and fast questions. Many times, just that temporary connection with another human being can help the caller to feel better. The app uses the power of technology and human connection to bring sight to people with vision loss.

The individual with vision loss can download the free Be My Eyes app from the App Store or the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, that person can use a camera-enabled smartphone to request video support at any time of day or night. Also available is the ability to call a specialized help partner for professional support. There is no limit to the number of times the app can be used, and it is available 24 hours a day.

Calls are connected based on daytime time zone and language. The average wait time is about 15 seconds. When a call is answered, a live one-way video (two-way audio) is initiated, allowing volunteers or company representatives to see what’s in front of the user’s camera and provide verbal support. 


Specialized support is also available for low vision and blind callers from the Be My Eyes app. Below are some examples:

  • Tech support for those questions that require knowledge as well as sight can be found from Microsoft, Google, and others to solve issues like broken screen readers or setting up email accounts.
  • Support is available for personal, sensitive questions that the caller may not want to ask a family member such as the results of a pregnancy or fertility test. The Clearblue Careline can step in to help privately in those cases. 
  • Pasta maker Barilla uses the app to help with pasta questions.
  • Rite Aid pharmacy answers questions about prescriptions and helps people read medicine bottles.
  • Selected brands from Proctor & Gamble are available in USA, Canada, and United Arab Emirates in English.
  • ACB (American Council of the Blind is available in the USA in English.
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind is available in USA and Canada in English.
  • RNIB (Royal National Institute of the Blind) is available in the United Kingdom in English.
  • Adaptions Store at San Francisco Lighthouse is available globally in English.

Please note: Specialized Help availability varies by region and company opening hours.


An Artificial Intelligence-Powered visual assistance for instantaneous image-to-text generation is now in beta testing and set to be integrated into the existing Be My Eyes app. Users will be able to send images via the app to an AI-powered virtual volunteer, which will provide instantaneous identification, interpretation, and conversational visual assistance for a wide variety of tasks.

The organization believes the Virtual Volunteer will be another tool to make the world more accessible for those who are blind or have low vision. It will improve accessibility, usability, and access to information globally using safe and responsible AI. They believe this technology will be transformative in providing these people with powerful new resources to better navigate physical environments, address everyday needs, and gain more independence.

One example of how the Virtual Volunteer is hoped to work can be described as the following: when a user sends a picture of the inside of their refrigerator, the Virtual Volunteer will not only be able to correctly identify what is in it but also extrapolate and analyze what can be prepared with those ingredients. The tool can also then offer a number of recipes for those ingredients and send a step-by-step guide on how to make them.

Don’t worry, though. The volunteer opportunities are not going anywhere. If the Virtual Assistant is unable to answer questions, it will automatically offer users the option to be connected via the app to a sighted volunteer for assistance.


Spread the word if you know someone who is blind or has low vision and hasn’t yet begun to use Be My Eyes.

Still have questions? All the information anyone would need to know to get started asking for help or volunteering can be found on the website, Be My Eyes - See the world together.

Be My Eyes is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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