Say What You See: iPhone Camera App For The Blind

Tap Tap See is a camera app for blind people. Sure, any partially or non-sighted person could just snap bad, out-of-focus pictures of their shoes, or of the backs of their friends heads, with any camera app. But only Tap Tap See will then say to them, out loud, “Shoes,” or “Head.”

You see, Tap Tap See is like a sighted assistant that never grow tired of you asking “what’s that?”

The app is designed to be used by the visually impaired, which means that you’ll have to turn on Voice Over on your iPhone to get it to actually speak the results. Voiceover is one of many built-in services which make the iPhone easier to use for people who can’t see it or touch it properly.

One done, you just point it at something and double-tap the screen. It’ll tell you it has snapped a picture (“Photo 5 taken,” or something similar) and then, a few seconds later, it’ll read out the result. I pointed it at my legs, as any good, lazy blogger is bound to do with a new camera app, and the app said “blue jeans.” I tried it with my iPhone (“Apple iPhone”), and a ceiling lamp (“hanging lamp”). And no, I haven’t yet moved from my bed this morning.

The uses are endless. In an article on the app at the RNIB 1, one user describes pointing it at a bottle of E45 lotion, “for which it said ‘E45 Lotion’.”

Never again will you splash soy sauce instead of balsamic vinegar onto a pear and goats cheese salad. Unless you’re my local lunch place, which does it with depressing regularity. And never again will you turn up to a funeral dressed in your swirling Paisley hippie suit instead of the understated balck number with the exact same cut.

The app is free, and works. Oh, and if you’re having trouble switching of Voiceover, sorry about that.


  1. The UK’s Royal National Institute for the Blind

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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