Hans Jorgen Wiberg
Be My Eyes
Hans Jorgen Wiberg
- Founder of Be My Eyes, a Copenhagen-based free app enabling visually impaired people to enlist the aid of sighted people via iPhone.
- Wiberg was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome at age 25, causing a steady loss of vision. From there, he volunteered his help to blind and visually impaired people. He wanted to help while he could, because he knew one day he would be the one needing help.
- While volunteering, he learned from many blind people that they used FaceTime to help get things done, but it was a burden to their friends and family. Wiberg decided that he could help by inventing a source for the blind to use and get help.
- Wiberg does not currently need the app, but because of his steadily decreasing vision due to Ushers Syndrome, doctors predict he will need Be My Eyes in ten years.
In 2012 he attended startup weekend- an event that brings together entrepreneurs, designers, and marketing experts to launch promising new products—and pitched his idea for an app. By the end of the weekend, he and a team of developers had won the prize for most innovative idea.
- The app is non-profit, and based out of Copenhagen.
- There are many more seeing people on the app than blind, so word needs to get out to the blind that this app exists.
- Currently the app is only for iPhones, but the creators of the app are working on an Android version. The app is only available on the iPhone because the iPhone has a built in setting that allows blind people to use the phone. It is called voice-over, and it reads out loud what you touch.
- When I signed up, there were 367k sighted, and 27.8k blind. There have also been 144k helped.
- When I got my first call on May 24th, the caller wanted to know what color she was showing on the camera. I told her black, and she said thank you and hung up. It didn't make sense to me, but it helped her out.
- In the two weeks I have had the app, I have gotten two calls that I have been able to answer.