6 Apps That Want You to Help A Stranger

Technology facilitates quality interactions between strangers.

Feb 18, 2018
animated picture of strangers using their iphones to help

Helping a stranger is easy and accessible with these six apps. [Shutterstock]

Along with helping us make the most out of every minute, put finances in order and live a healthy lifestyle - among many other uses - our trusty smartphones can serve as the bridge to meet and connect with strangers. These six mobile apps can act as eyes for the blind, save us in emergency situations, and even wake you up in the morning. What makes these apps that extra bit incredible? They are powered by an altruistic network of strangers helping strangers.

1. GIVE SIGHT TO A BLIND PERSON

Be My Eyes connects sighted volunteers with bind people in need of a pair of eyes to help navigate the world around them.
HOW IT WORKS: A request is made for assistance, for example checking an expiration date, and a sighted volunteer gets a notification.  In an easy and informal interaction, the blind person films what they need assistance with, the helper describes what they see - and together they work to solve the problem.
AVAILABLE ON: iOScoming soon on Android

screenshot of be my eyes

Volunteer your eyes. [Screenshot]

2. GET A WAKE UP CALL FROM A STRANGER

Have trouble getting up in the morning? Wakie Alarm Clock is here to help.
HOW IT WORKS: Amassing a friendly community of people, users are divided into two groups – wakies and sleepyheads. Sleepyheads receive a 60-second wake up call from wakies - a short, pleasant way to start the day, without long conversations or awkward goodbyes.
AVAILABLE ON: iOS, Android and Windows

Screenshot of wakie alarm clock

Start your morning on the right foot with a cheery wake up call. [Screenshot]

3. GIVE AND GET VIRTUAL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FROM STRANGERS

Kindly is the app for anyone in need of a friendly voice, or just a good vent.
HOW IT WORKS: Geared towards those looking for a bit of support and folks who want to help, Kindly is an anonymous social network of compassionate people.  Divided by subject topic, the app connects users in need with a kind person for an anonymous 20-minute chat session, with the option to extend. Folks looking to help out can search topics and lend an ear and share a kind word.
AVAILABLE ON: iOS

screenshot kindly

Spread your kindness virtually. [Screenshot]

4. SEND A LIVE TEXT VIA A STRANGER

The app Somebody, created by the eccentric artist, writer and filmmaker Miranda July, is an intimate way to connect with strangers with a public art project feel.
HOW IT WORKS: Instead of calling or sending a text, the app has a stranger verbally deliver the message to whomever it was intended for – acting as a stand in of sorts.  The official news bearers are provided with what to say, and more importantly how to say it, complete with emotional cues and directions given to accurately relay the text.  
AVAILABLE ON: The team is currently revamping the app, which will be ready for release on iOS and Android in the next couple of months.

pic of miranda july and her somebody app

Get to know strangers with a human way to text. [Screenshot]

5. HELP A STRANGER OUT IN AN EMERGENCY

YelpOut is a crowd-sourced app that allows users to give assistance to strangers nearby.
HOW IT WORKS: Pushing the YELP button will send your SOS to a vetted network of guardians in a 10km vicinity - the point is that help comes in real-time, not after the fact. Helpers can also contact the nearest police station.
AVAILABLE ON: Android

screenshot of yelpout

Hands on help. [Screenshot]

6. GET VISUAL ANSWERS TO ANY QUESTION YOU MIGHT HAVE

Want to get a feel for the crowd at your favorite café? Or what the waves are like before you hit the surf? uCiC (You See I See) is location-based photo assistance app that connects users around the world.
HOW IT WORKS: Users select a location on the map and send their queries to other uCiC users. Visual responses give a clear picture of what is going on in real time, and for each response, users can earn Karma points, which in time provides extra leverage when making new requests.
AVAILABLE ON: iOS and Android

screenshot of ucic

Get answers quickly and visually. [Screenshot]