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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