Sometimes it seems just unbelievable what apps can do. I stumbled upon TapTapSee app reviewed on Disabled World by Thomas C. Weiss and just couldn’t resist sharing this incredible app that takes pictures and speaks aloud what the object is. Created for individuals with low vision and blindness, such apps may also provide support for some individuals with significant reading or dyslexia when access to print is a huge barrier.
TapTapSee is a free iPhone/iPad app requiring an iDevice with a camera (the better the camera the better the outcome is usual for apps such as these) and Wi-Fi or Internet connectivity for it to work. It is optimized for iPhone 5. After taking a picture, the application identifies the item and speaks a description back to them. VoiceOver is required for the description to be spoken.
As always seeing is believing, so here is a video from Disabled World that provides you a glimpse of what it can do:
Using my iPad3 I had to trial this app out. I took pictures of every day objects with labels such as:
- Pamphlet from hotel chain
- Container with Sony CD’s
- Paper back book of Sudoku puzzles
In 2 of the 3 items the labels had word art labels with large block print (ever try to scan word art labels? it is a nightmare in the OCR world of accessing print!). Although the information read aloud did not give me detailed or text to speech of the smaller print on the label, in each case after first snapshot (and first use!) the labels were clearly spoken using VoiceOver :
- “XYZ Hotel”
- “Sony CD”
Thomas C. Weiss’ review from Disabled World reported that TapTapSee was an easy to use app. That is no exaggeration. It provided prompts for turning on VoiceOver to make sure it would operate. With only two buttons on the screen and voice prompts given (a play or review button and information button) problems occurred were typically due to operator error. The app identifies bills, colors as well as object and basic labels:
TapTapSee is truly a remarkable app for individuals with significant visual challenges. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with an individual with severe dyslexia who could perceive pictures but not letters, words or numbers. Navigating the community was a concern with “reading” signs, door markings, and other environmental words and numbers. Although TapTapSee won’t read a whole menu (there are other apps that can do that better however), it just might be the answer to accessing some basic environmental print that may not be detected with OCR!
Wow! How exciting – TapTapSee app just needed to be shared – perhaps not for everyone but for the right individuals this could be a wonderful access tool! I can’t wait to try this on a shopping trip with my iPhone!
Yet another great tool for your rehab, low vision, OT or AT mTool Kit!!
Weiss, Thomas C., March 9, 2013. TapTapSee Camera App for Visually Impaired. Retrieved on 4/27/2013 from: http://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/apps/taptapsee.php