Blind get sight on demand with new iPhone app

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A blind person gets assistance from a sighted volunteer to check the expiration date on milk. Photo: Be My Eyes
A blind person gets assistance from a sighted volunteer to check the expiration date on milk. Photo: Be My Eyes

Karen Koch Rasmussen navigates life just fine without sight. Developing systems to identify the tangibles in life come to her naturally, from how to stock her canned goods to labeling her music collection so she can listen to which ever genre strikes her.

She even has a strategy for when there’s a glitch in her systems, like when a canned item goes in the wrong place. If she grabs tomatoes instead of beans, she may adjust her recipe and roll with the inconvenience.

So when an iPhone app to assist the blind came into her life, thus offering a solution to those occasional challenges, Rasmussen, 26, didn’t quite know how to use a set of eyes that were easily at her disposal.

“I’ve been blind since birth so you learn to get along without seeing,” said Rasmussen, a graduate student in political science in Aarhus, Denmark. “I’m not use to having the opportunity so I would forget there is a solution.”