Technology

Be My Eyes app enables people to help the visually impaired anywhere

Thursday, 23 October 2014 4364 views 0 comments

Thousands are signing up to help visually impaired people across the world using the Be My Eyes app.

The non-profit service allows a community of sighted volunteers to be on call via an iOS app and access the person’s camera.

When a visually impaired person needs help, they send out a request using VoiceOver and the app picks someone from the pool of volunteers available.

There are currently over 13,000 volunteers and some 2,000 people have been helped through the app already.

According to an ABC News report, last month two students were diving near Vancouver Island’s west coast when they camera across an unexpected object: a digital camera. It had clearly been there for quite some time, so much so that “lots of animals [were] growing on it,” according to Isabelle M. Cote, a professor who was supervising the students. The photos turned out to be quite precious to the family, as many of them were taken while Burgoyne was spreading his mother’s ashes back in 2012. “We were surprised but really appreciate the people who went to that extent to find me and return our photos,” Burgoyne said. “That was very kind.” The position at a large company that protects against such breaches is known as a chief information security officer. Experts say these jobs are becoming increasingly difficult to fill.

Little-known just a decade ago, CISOs today are worth their weight in gold now and hard to keep. Perhaps more surprising, the position is still not universal at large corporations, but it should be, said Geoff Webb, senior director of strategy at NetIQ in Houston.

“It’s not window dressing. It’s critical. You need someone who can go into the board room and tell them they’ve got to spend money on security and make them listen. It’s not a popular conversation,” he said.

Too often, companies only hired a CISO after they’ve experienced damaging breaches.

JPMorgan didn’t have a CISO when it was breached earlier this year. Neither did Target when it was hit in 2013. Or Heartland Payment Systems in 2009 or TJX in 2007.
Two years ago, Paul Burgoyne was sailing to his summer home in Tahsis, near Vancouver, when his boat struck some rocks and sank.

Though Burgoyne was able to swim to shore, where he was attended to by the Coast Guard, many of his possessions—including a digital camera full of priceless family photos—were lost.
According to an ABC News report, last month two students were diving near Vancouver Island’s west coast when they camera across an unexpected object: a digital camera. It had clearly been there for quite some time, so much so that “lots of animals [were] growing on it,” according to Isabelle M. Cote, a professor who was supervising the students. The photos turned out to be quite precious to the family, as many of them were taken while Burgoyne was spreading his mother’s ashes back in 2012. “We were surprised but really appreciate the people who went to that extent to find me and return our photos,” Burgoyne said. “That was very kind.”

Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself, came up with the idea and launched the service through software development studio Robocat.

The app is currently free on iOS, with plans to launch on Android soon. Developers are considering a subscription model and/or donations from September, which is when their current funding runs out.

Those concerned about misuse can also rest assured – users on both sides can rate their experience or report incidents after each session.

Keyser Soze

Keyser Soze

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