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European Social Fund Plus

App helps visually impaired people navigate everyday life

App helps visually impaired people navigate everyday life
(c) shutterstock

Many people underestimate how hard everyday situations can be for people with visual impairments. In a triumph of innovation, a Hungarian project found a solution to many day-to-day difficulties – with help from the European Social Fund (ESF).

The ‘Remote Eye’ (Remote assistance to visually impaired people) project supported visually impaired people through an app service. Users were put into contact with an operator who assisted them by essentially acting as their eyes, with the help of their smartphone’s camera.

Léna, one of the operators who supported the visually impaired people through the remote eye, describes the typical situations in which people need assistance: ‘We are often called upon for everyday situations,’ she says. ‘For example, selecting products in a store, finding their price, reading their composition.’

Hanna participated in the app’s trial period. She details what her life was like before she discovered the 'Remote Eye’:

‘Since the two of us living together are both visually impaired, we don’t have someone to run to or go next door to ask them to check an envelope or anything else for us,’ she says. ‘When you drop something, you can’t find it. It was not unheard of for us to be on our hands and knees crawling under a table looking for something.’

The service proved invaluable for Hanna: ‘I could put it in one word: independence, and that is very important. It saves time in every way and makes us independent.’

Zoli was another person whose daily life was made easier thanks to ‘Remote Eye’: ‘As a visually impaired person, it is not possible to distinguish paper money, so I used the service to sort out the denominations of money.’

800 visually impaired people used the ‘Remote Eye’ service over the course of the project. In addition to the app, the project also equipped people with smartphones and provided training to elderly users who had never used a smartphone before.

'Remote Eye’ won the audience award at the international 2020 SozialMarie Prize for Social Innovation for improving the quality of life of visually impaired people through innovative tools and community solutions. Thanks to the project, visually impaired people were provided with critical and life-changing support.

Project details

Project name
REMOTE EYE – Remote assistance to visually impaired people (TÁVSZEM)
The Hungarian National Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired
800 people with disabilities
Project start
Project end
Contact details
Mr. Tamás Szentmáry
Total budget
c.a. EUR 1.2 million
EU Budget contribution
c.a. EUR 0.8 million