Low Vision App to Identify Objects and Labels

Low Vision App to Identify Objects and Labels

Posted under Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

A smartphone or tablet with a camera can be used for many different purposes and using them to “see” for you is one of them. A free app called TapTapSee helps people with low vision, macular degeneration or even blindness to identify objects found in their kitchen, bathroom or out shopping by accessing the device’s camera to photograph items and the VoiceOver setting to say outloud what is in the picture.
How to Use TapTapSee:
Download the free App from iTunes or Google Play store. Activate VoiceOver so you can hear the app speak. The VoiceOver option allows one to control the rate at which the phone speaks – slower or faster. On your iPhone go to Settings/ General/ Accessibility. Under the Vision heading you will see VoiceOver. Turn it to On. The app works by tapping the screen to take a photo of any object or label and then speaks back to you either identifying what’s in the picture or what’s on the label. The first time you use it you will be asked to accept a Privacy Notice on the use of the camera, accept it and you are ready to start. Hold your device about 8”-12” from the object and then double tap the screen to take a picture. Wait about 10 seconds and you will hear your device describe to you what you just took a picture of.
An autofocus feature will automatically focus the picture for you, but you need to wait until the app beeps to be sure the picture will be clear. Although the app does have an automatic flash, it works best in a well lit area. Across the top of the screen are 3 buttons – Repeat, Library and Share. Hit the Repeat button to hear again the identification of the last photographed item. The Library button allows you to access your Camera Roll, send it to TapTapSee for identification. Use the Share button to share your picture on Twitter, Facebook, text or email.
Where to Use TapTapSee
Here are some ideas of how one can use this app to help maintain independence.
Uses in the Kitchen
• Identify the regular from the decaf coffee
• Determine the expiration date of your milk, salad dressings or yogurt
• Select your preferred can of soup
• Uses in the Bathroom
• Identify a prescription or over-the-counter medication
• Have your prescription instructions read to you

Uses in the Store
• Read a label on a jar, box, or can
• Provide a price and size on a piece of clothing
• Uses for Grooming
• Identify the color of a sock so that they match
• Select the color of a lipstick to match your outfit

As you can see TapTapSee helps those with low vision or blindness to become more independent at home or when they are out shopping. Some users may take hundreds of pictures a day using their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android device. TapTapSee is the recipient of the American Foundation for the Blind 2014 Access Award and named App of the Month by the Royal National Institute of Blind People in March, 2013. CultofMac.com describes the app this way. “You see, TapTapSee is like a sighted assistant that never grows tired of you asking ‘what’s that?’”
Providing accuracy and detail, TapTapSee offers lots of uses for those with low vision or who are completely blind.

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN