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OK, so every time I use the app, I end up with a good experience. I've not used it a lot, perhaps 5 times in total; though I know there are people who use it quite a bit more frequently. I just wanted to relate an experience I had today with the app, and point out how I love that the people here are very good at what they do. They seem to be up for any challenge, and don't jump in with any preconceived notions, judgements, or biases. They never say things like, I don't know how that works, or I don't know how to do that, they just read the text you ask for, and leave you to do your bit. They'll ask you to move the phone, or make it closer to the text, and they do it really well. I've never had an experience where I felt like I was swinging the phone around and not getting it where it needs to be. Me and the volunteer on the other end just sort of naturally work it out, and it is good and flowing. Admittedly, the first time I used the app, and a little bit before each time I use it, I end up having preconceived notions on how it will go. You would think that living in a world where people are often exposing their judgements on you, that I would have learned by now not to do the same. Of course, I don't express it, but I have them anyway. I guess its because I'm a cynic / skeptic, and I'm trying to get away from that, but that's off topic. This was the most technical thing I've used the app for today, and I'll now relate what it was all about.

I've recently purchased a Behringer Xenyx 1222USB mixer. I needed to figure the thing out, initially, I did get it working, but I still had questions as to what some of the buttons / knobs did. I used the app to connect with someone today. The lady who helped me was really good about it. I told her the stuff I already knew about, so that we could move through it without wasting time, and she went down the line and told me what everything was that I asked about. I now have a full idea of what's going on with the thing. If not how it all works at this point, at least what all the controls are used for. A mixer is a complicated piece of equipment if you're not an audio engineer, which I'm not, this is my first one, and I'm very much the novice. I continue to be amazed that the people who use this app are volunteers, and are not trained for the purpose. One guy even told me to twist the phone on the Z axis to get rid of glare, which I thought was rather clever. Yeah, its true not everyone is gonna know what that means, but I did and it cut straight through the issue and we got it done. We went through this board in like 5 minutes when I thought it would be at least 20. It was awesome, and I can't recommend the app highly enough. I just wanted to relate this here just in case there were any folks sort of on the fence about using the app.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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Hi,
Thanks for sharing this experience. It's an app that I've not used yet myself, but I do have it on my phone. Who knows, maybe next time I need a pair of eyes I might just use it! smile
Cheers,

Daniel

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I was outside once, in front of my house. My garbage can blew into the street because it was windy a few hours beforehand. and I could not find it. So on my android phone I got a volunteer on the be my eyes app, and by moving the phone around in sort of a searching pattern, the person on the other end of the video call helped me successfully quickly find my empty garbage can that blew into the street. So I found it and put it back where it belonged. If I did not have this app, it would have stayed in the street until my son got home from school that afternoon.

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Hi.
Yeah, the app is definatelly a quite nice peace of software, I actually don't use it on a dayly basis, but there were certain situations where this one helped me quite a lot.
The fact that it's free and that there are so many people makes this more atractive than for example Aira, in my point of view anyway.
Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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I don't know much about Aira, but this seems to connect me up with people that have been helpful each time

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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I used to use Be My Eyes, at first it was great and I used it whenever sighted help was needed. I also routinely always found a helpful and courteous volunteer at the other end and always went away feeling good about the app. But they are untrained volunteers and you have no real idea what, if any, agreements they are bound to regarding any personal information they might learn about you during the course of your conversation, so I limited my use to only those situations I wouldn't mind sharing with a total stranger on a crowded bus. So situations like asking someone to read a prescription label was out of the question.

Then over the past three months I began having problems with the service. When I called for assistance, if I was even connected to a volunteer, the connection would be immediately dropped, I'd try again, and maybe it would work, or maybe the connection would be immediately dropped again, that is a connection was ever established, which it frequently wasn't.

These problems and other non related issues caused me to look at and switch to Aira, and now that I've had it for a couple of months, will never go back. One thing that Aira does that Be My Eyes will never be able to do is they keep a file on you that has information about you added with each use, this file opens on the assistants dashboard when you call so they already know who you are before they connect. Over time I've found that this has the benefit that regardless of the agent that answers your call, it becomes more like calling a friend that knows you rather than a stranger that doesn't.

The only down side to the service is that there are so many pieces of equipment you have to work with if you want to use the glasses, so I usually just use the phone and reserve using t
he glasses for those times when I really need both hands free.

I still think that Be My Eyes is a great app and applaud what the volunteers are doing. Aira isn't for everybody, some can't afford it, I believe it's not available outside the United States, and some refuse to pay for it when there is a free option. For them there is Be My Eyes.

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I love be my eyes and I used it one time to help me identify hot coco at 3:30 in the morning. It was awesome.

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After trying lots of bar code scanning apps, I finally gave up on them and got an ID Mate Galaxy to identify products in the kitchen. Except I learned that some products, like the pre made hogie sandwiches I get at the Publix deli have product information such as weight in the bar code, so the Galaxy doesn't work too well for them. So, I used Be My Eyes to identify the different flavors so I could store them in alphabetical order by flavor, so I could pick and choose which flavor to eat. It worked great. Now a days, though, I just dump them in the drawer in the fridge where I store them, so what flavor I get becomes a surprise.

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Well, for me, whether the Be My Eyes volunteers are trained or not has never become an issue. If it does, then perhaps I will have to re-evaluate my use of the app. I too share the concern about not giving sensitive information to them, and don't use it in those cases. I have never had an experience, and admittedly, 5 uses isn't a very good sample size if you consider studies that measure effects over time, but despite that, I have never had a bad experience with them. They did not act like untrained people, they acted like professionals. I think that speaks very well of the people themselves who wish to help, and consequently, though indirectly, of Be My Eyes itself. Having not been sighted, I cannot comment as to the restrictions, or lack there of to become a volunteer. I don't know what they ask for, if they ask for anything at all. Certainly, I could see it as becoming an issue if all you have to do is get the app, say you're a sighted person looking to help the blind, and that's all you have to do, and as long as you have the app open, you're on the hook as it were, you're in the queue for volunteers. If that's the most in depth they go, I could see where at some point, someone's going to have a less than stellar experience.

My purpose for writing this is just to relate my overall very positive impressions / experiences with the app. If anyone has had bad experiences, do feel free to share them, but also feel free to share your good ones. I think like this, we are kind of reviewing the service, and giving others who may be a little leery of it the positive reinforcement to try it.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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I heard that early on, some kids were sighning up as either volunteers or blind people, then as volunteers would either make fun of the blind people asking for assistance or give them incorrect answers or bad information, or as blind people make fun of the volunteers. Be My Eyes response to that problem was to hide the option to sign up as blind unless voice over was turned on. For volunteers, they added the rating system so problems could be reported. I'm sure that volunteers can also rate the blind people they help too, that way, anyone who shows themselves to be a troublemaker, regardless of which side of the connection they're on, will get kicked off.

Beyond the rating system, I don't know if they do anything at all to vet new members of the network on both sides of the connection.

I too have always found the volunteers helpful and courteous, if not professional, such that if a connection was made, I always had a good experience.

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I haven't been able to provide a rating other than basically good or not good. It doesn't seem to go more in depth.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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No it doesn't, however I suspect that if a blind person or a volunteer consistently gets a not good rating from connections to them, the Be My Eyes people would look into the reason and, if warranted, kick them out of the network.

Aira also has a rating system with "Good" or "Poor" options, but they also provide a text box for you to explain your rating if necessary. It would have been nice if Be My Eyes did the same.

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