Now you can...there is an app for that! Check out this free app "Be My Eyes", developed by Hans Jorgen Wiberg in Copenhagen, Denmark. Wiberg, who has Usher Syndrome, an inherited condition that causes progressive vision loss, came up with the idea for an app after he saw many blind people using FaceTime to get help from family and friends. Broadening the scope from a few available helpers to a network of eyes worldwide, he got together with software developers and voila, the 'Be My Eyes' app was born.
In a nutshell, the Be My Eyes app connects blind people with sighted volunteer helpers from around the world via live video chat. The app is available for free from the App Store. But here is the catch, at this stage it's only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. But don't despair, the developers are working on an Android version. To voice your interest in the Android version, go to their site to register.
While the app was developed for blind people, there is no reason why other people with diminishing vision could not use it. I am thinking particularly of the aging boomers. Could this be the way of reducing medication errors in the home? If you can think of other innovative uses for this app, send it along in your comments.
For further suggestions, check out the library's collection on Self-help devices for the visually impaired.