BeSpecular - App of the month, August 2016

Posted: 
4 August 2016

Introduction

BeSpecular is the best way to do a good deed so that even when you have a busy schedule, you can help someone who’s blind. As a blind/visually impaired person, you can ask text/voice questions and receive quick replies that are friendly and helpful.

Do you want to help/volunteer in your community, but you don’t have the time?
Helping your community should be simple, convenient, and fun.
Now you can help someone who’s blind by using your Smartphone. You can spend a few seconds listening to the question, look at the picture(s), and reply with a friendly voice note or text message.

You can:

  • Use your eyes and intuition which no computer can replace
  • Help blind or visually impaired people from around the world
  • Learn what it’s like to live blind
  • Do a good deed and feel amazing
  • Make a real contribution to someone else’s life


Are you blind or visually impaired & need that extra little bit of help?
You should be able to conveniently ask your questions and know that someone who’s sighted will happily and quickly be able to help.
Now you’re able to personalize your questions to find out exactly what you’re looking for. You can upload or take photos and ask with a voice/text message. You’ll receive as many friendly and helpful replies as you need.

You can:

  • Ask your question and receive your reply shortly
  • Use the app in various situations, e.g. getting more detailed descriptions of items you’d like to buy online, read the ad insert you found in the mail, understand what’s going on with your computer when your Screen Reader won’t work, re-live memories with beautiful descriptions of your photographs, etc.
  • Remain on a first-name basis and not have to reveal any personal information
  • Ask as many questions as often as you’d like

What’s so great about "BeSpecular"?

BeSpecular puts you in touch with a visually impaired person who need’s assistance with the visual recognition of a picture, or if you are a visually impaired person yourself, allows you to get help with recognising pictures.  The unique selling point of this app is that it allows you to ask specific questions rather than just getting a ball park description of what you are snapping, so for instance you could ask how to cook a meal by taking a picture of the package and asking for the relevant information for example microwave or oven cook.  The app has many other uses besides and questions can be asked using a textual message or voice recording.  Anyone can sign up to volunteer to serve as an assistant to users of this app and the replies received are friendly, understandable and helpful in this author’s experience.

Where do I get it?

Download

Price: Free
Platform: iOS/Android

User comments

This app is simple and easy to use.  Simply load the app, sign up as either a visually impaired or sighted app user and follow the instructions.  This author is a visually impaired user, so the experience of taking a picture and sending it to the community is their soul experience of using this app.  I found taking a picture simple and straight forward and was then given the option of either recording a message to send with the picture or writing a textual note describing the information I was requesting.  Within moments I received a friendly and helpful reply, describing how to prepare and cook a frozen meal I had photographed.  This app has a lot of potential, providing it maintains enough interest however this concept has been tried before with VizWiz which sadly no longer operates.

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