Hans Jørgen WibergInventer and Founder Be My Eyes
A vision on Seeing
The colour of a tie or T-shirt, the ultimate date for use on a milk carton or the number on a bus stop, visually impaired people sometimes need to know what they can’t see. Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who started to lose his sight at 25, knows the challenges all too well. When he learned that a friend used FaceTime to overcome this problem, he thought of a better idea. Because FaceTime is limited to friends, and friends may not always be available. Wiberg, who had been working for several Danish organisations for the blind and visually impaired since 2005, imagined an app that would make random contact with a seeing volunteer. With the help of a young business student, Christian Erfurt, he developed the app Be My Eyes, launched in 2015. Today, Be My Eyes is a worldwide service helping 67,000 blind and visually impaired people in 182 different languages. Already 945,000 volunteers signed up to help.
‘The main ingredient in Be My Eyes is trust,’ says Wiberg, who studied philosophy. ‘I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Be My Eyes was made here in Scandinavia. We have a very high degree of trust in each other. I hope that Be My Eyes can export trust to the rest of the world.’