Talking Goggles - a camera with speech

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Category

Description of App

Talking Goggles can recognize images and speaks out what it finds. - Recognizes almost any image within seconds. Logos, landmarks, books, products, artwork, text and more.. - Shows the description of the image and speaks it out to you. - Speaks it out using the correct accent of your selected language. - Includes a torchlight to assist in reading. - Video mode. Talking Goggles will continuously check the video stream for any familiar images, and will present it and speak it out when it finds something. - Easy copy function. Use goggles as a scanner/translator and use the results in any other application. - Look up more details on the image found by doing a direct search. Or, if it is a product, check where it is available nearby, and show a price comparison. Don't know the name of that actor on that poster? Just point your camera at it and Talking Goggles will tell you! Want to find out if that product is really the cheapest around? Take a picture and let Talking Goggles do a comparison for you. Point Talking Goggles at a logo, and you will be told the name of the company after which you can do a search for it. Talking Goggles is particularly good at recognizing book covers and posters. Try it out! Reviews are very positive so far: 'This amazing application costs just $0.99 and is a masterpiece and could be a new trend.' 'You really need to try the app to see exactly how good it is.' 'This app worked well and quickly. I took a photo of a few products from my cupboard and it identified them immediately, and offered access to the internet to learn more.' 'I then turned the can a bit and it started recognizing bits of text from nutritional information and all sort of stuff. I pointed my phone into the fridge and it told me I had Tropicana Orange Juice, I turned it a bit and here was Lucern Milk. astounding.' Talking Goggles gives you amazing possibilities. We are constantly improving the app further, please contact us on support@sparklingapps.com for any comments or suggestions.

Version

2.2

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

iOS Version

9.3.2

Accessibility Comments

Seems accessible enough, All you have to do is tap the camera button.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

Works well, Very fast, and speaks description in a cleaer voice!

Developer's Twitter Username

@spark215BV

Recommendations

3 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Larry 5 years 1 month ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by ming on Monday, March 25, 2013

hi all, just d download the app and tried it. I think taptap see is better. when I turn on the flash light and take a picture on my computer screen. it said that it is a "car." but, taptap see can get it correct. hope it can improve very soon. P.S. I'm using IPhone 4...

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Saturday, April 20, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

After playing with this. I have to admit this is quite fun at the same time quite awesome. In some perspective I understand that some like TapTapSee better but I really think it works together quite well. The automatic feedback is just extraordinary and unique.

What's New in Version 1.2

Improved recognition of face images and landmarks. Music album covers added.

Submitted by Victor Tsaran on Saturday, April 20, 2013

In reply to by AnonyMouse

First of all, it seems that the (Google TTS) speech samples are delivered in real time from the server. While this gives them an opportunity to speak multiple language, it also chops the speech into fragments quite often. This means you don't always know when the object description has been completed. A choice to use the built-in voices would be a welcome addition, IMHO. Second, the app could label buttons a bit better (I will alert the developer). But I absolutely love "video mode". I loved it ever since Text Detective introduced it in their app. It is quite essential for a blind person as we do not always know if the picture is in focus, etc.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Saturday, April 20, 2013

In reply to by AnonyMouse

if you held a barrel against my head, i'd say camfind is the best, especially its ability to upload from photo library. i would say the OCR feature of talking goggle is simply amazing. if you have not tried it, it should do yourself a favor and try it now. simply select video camera and hover over something with text on it. i moved the camera around over a dvd, and it told me everything--title, year, stars, aspect ratio, everything.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, April 29, 2013

Hi, this app sounds interesting, especially after having listened to the podcast. The ability to OCR text sounds potentially useful, because as far as I know the other object recognition apps out there can try to identify something for you but that's the limit of there abilities, its of limited use if they identify say a bottle of milk but can't then read you the use by date. Still, i'm sure all the various object recognition and OCR apps have there place and strengths and weaknesses when dealing with different objects. Now to my question, does having the screen curtain on affect the ability of the app to work? Or can it be left turned on?

Submitted by LaBoheme on Monday, April 29, 2013

In reply to by alex wallis

first of all, screen curtain doesn't affect its operation. it may be helpful to know that talking goggles will only tell you the name of an object when it knows exactly what it is; it will not give a description or a general name. for example, it will tell you something like "Benzara 58156 30 Minute Nautical Ship Sand Timer Metal Hour Glass" and not just "hour glass". for those items it cannot identify but have text on them, it will OCR and read the text. so if you take a picture of a necktie and it tells you nothing, don't get frustrated because this is not what the app is designed for. other apps like Camfind will try to give you a description of the object, even though it can't really identify the object.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
What's New in Version 1.3

Improved recognition
Improved stability of video mode
Added settings page: set quality of image processing vs speed, set voice output on/off, capture image yes/no
For settings, use general iPhone settings, then see Goggles

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

This is now back in the App Store after being removed whilst a bug was fixed:

What's New in Version 1.5Resolved issues with recognition

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, July 19, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 1.6

Resolved some stability issues.
Improved image recognition.

Submitted by Tyler on Saturday, July 20, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
I use TapTapSee as my primary object recognition software. It works pretty well for what it does, but could be faster recognizing images. Is this app faster than TapTapSee? Also, the video mode sounds interesting, since it may be hard for a blind person to know when a camera is focused. Is this like how Money Reader recognizes bills, where you move the camera over the object and it reads whatever it sees? That mode would be more convenient than having to focus the camera on something, take a picture, hope that I had it positioned right, and if I don't, repeat the process over again.

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hi, I find object recognition quite useless with talking goggles. However I do use it for OCR, its quite useful being able to wave the phone over packets and see if text can be read. the text it reads can be fragmented but if I want a quick and easy scan and just need simple information its easier than loading up text detective as it keeps scanning and recognizing in real time which text detective doesn't.

Submitted by Casey on Sunday, July 21, 2013

I just tried Talking Goggles. I was amazed to find it reading signs even though I was many feet away! I tried it on different computer screens and it would read content on them as well. What I really like about this app is the live video mode. With this you just turn it on, and point the iPhone at whatever you want to know about. You don't need to tap the screen once this is on. I was even able to use this to ID stores just by pointing it at the door. Pretty amazing!

Submitted by Astra on Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hello, I have just listened to the excellent podcast given by Robin, but I don't understanding the labelling of it at all. He says it's the opposite of what it should be, so if anyone can tell me what I should to tap and what I should expect to hear or how to relabel it correctly, I would be so grateful. I haven't even heard it speak yet so I'm doing something rather wrong aren't I. Thanks Astra

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 1.7

Resolved recognition issues
Improved performance

 

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Monday, September 9, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Be sure to download this before or after you get the NEW iOS 7 that is due out very soon. This will prevent any problems that the previous version are having with iOS 7.

What's New in Version 1.8

Resolved iOS7 compatibility issues

Submitted by Brother J. on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I just installed this hours ago and at the time of installation it was completely free. AppShopper still has the price set at $0.99 USD so I am guessing it just went free today. I can very well be wrong.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Monday, April 14, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Interesting to see that coming from 1.8x to the NEW 2.0. That one would see some new features and such. This is not the case. It is unclear what was fixed as it is stated below.

What's New in Version 2.0

Several bugfixes resolved

 

Submitted by Laszlo on Thursday, June 12, 2014

I have an Iphone 4 with IOS 4.3.5 on it. When I saw the favourable reviews, I decided to give Talking Goggles a go. I was very happy to discover that this app still runs on IOS 4.3. When searching for it in the appstore, I was surprised to see that two apps exist with the same name: one is free, but not from Sparkling Apps, the other is the app reviewed here. I don't know what is the difference, but I chose the very cheap app reviewed here.
I find Talking Goggles simply amazing for OCR, but it has never ever identified anything I showed it. I wonder e.g. why it has no idea about my Samsung microwave oven, TV and VCR. Perhaps because they are not exactly brand new, or perhaps the selection of recognised products is too "U.S. specific". But it was able to read every text on them, including their name printed on them.
I find it's not particularly choosy about lighting. It even read text when I shaded light with my hand (torchlight was off). When I showed the app to Sighted people, they told me that it even recognized text on various coloured backgrounds, even if the text was distorted or small. They told me it read text they had a hard time figuring out themselves. I find I have to put my phone no closer than 5 inches from the object, bigger distances don't seem to matter much. Once I was moving my phone in the air casually in video mode, and suddenly it read a name. I knew that I had a little box with that name printed on it, but I wondered where it saw the box. It turned out to be in an open drawer more than 2 feets away!
As I am Hungarian, I switched to Hungarian in the app, and I find that the app has no problem recognising Hungarian text, it even presents the special Hungarian accented letters correctly. And then came the biggest surprise. I didn't understand how on earth could the app read some pieces of texts from covers of vinyl records as it did. Then with sighted assistance it turned out that the app translated all English text it saw to Hungarian!!! I've never read about this "feature". It made me laugh much, but I'd do with a setting to turn translation off.
As speech is transmitted from Google TTS servers (beware of net traffic and additional battery drain), it frequently stops even on my very fast home wifi. The bigger problem that it doesn't resume. It often stops in the middle of a word without any continuation. So a lot of speech seems to be lost. This would need fixing. A native voice option would be very good for a lot of reasons. I tried to work it around: there's an item where the app displaysthe recognised text, it's after the "change language" in flicking order. I turn off speech in Goggles settings, then I focus the text item while in the app, and keep the focus there. In this case VO should read out as new text appears there. Sometimes it does, sometimes not. The accessibility of the app is a bit similar too, it's not 100 % reliable at least on IOS 4.3.5. Controls appear and disappear out of flicking order, and can't always be found by tapping. The "Take photo" button in still camera mode always seems to activate only when double-tapped for the second time. When changing languages, the language list presents itself with VO only after doing a lot of flicks and taps, that's also the case when you return to the main screen after a language change. The interface seems mostly accessible, but a bit non-standard.
I wonder how that "easy copy" or "direct search" work which the app developers state in the description. Anyway lack of easy copy seems no problem, this software is no alternative to a scanner. It can recognise only a small rectangle of text, and reading order is not convenient. But it's invaluable for e.g. deciding which document arrived with my mail to put into my flat-bed scanner and which not to.

Submitted by Orko on Sunday, November 2, 2014

Does anyone know what the difference is between the paid and free versions of this app?

Thanks!

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Thursday, September 3, 2015

I agree with most everyone else about the OCR, and its object recognition for me was decent. However, I'd like to point out that in Settings, under its entry, you can choose processing for fastest, balanced, or Best. If you are waving the camera around in video mode and have it set to Best it isn't going to speak very much. So set it to fastest when you are trying to locate where to focus, set to best when that's what you want.

Took it several times to Walmart and even on an iPOD touch without a flash, using the next-door Macdonald's Wi-Fi, it recognized many price-tags and items on shelves. With my iPHONE 5C it's even better, but patiently move the camera very slowly for best results.

Submitted by raaj on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hello everyone, I wonder this goggles is working with everybody? For me, it is not at all talking. even after deleting the app and reinstalling it with my iPhone6. I tried even changing the languages. Still no use at all. What am I doing wrong?

Raaj.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I must be doing something wrong because it's very rare that Goggles says anything useful to me. I want to use the video mode to read displays on my stove, washing machine, digital recorder and so on. Some displays can be read pretty well, and by that i mean i can get 1 or 2 words out of 20 to 30 while others aren't read at all. I've more or less given up Goggles as an alternative for now and look for something else more reliable.
/Krister

Unless we are both doing something wrong, I don't think that that is the problem. I tried Goggles a while back and had pretty much the same problem, I could never get it to say anything about what it was seeing except for what sounded like a few random words every once in a while. After several days of trying to get it to work, I deleted it.

Submitted by raaj on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I dono what about the other users? whether it is not working for everyone? or for few? If this is a bug for everyone, how to lodge a complaint? or how to inform the app developer? Just curious. I felt it was a wonderful app, while I was using it with my iPhone5S.

Raaj.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I was trying to contact the developer the last time Goggles was up for discussion here but didn't find any contact point at all on their web site. I wanted to ask some polite questions about what i or we might be doing wrong to have Goggles not speak to us. In fact i know Goggles worked because i had a sighted person point at the display i wanted to read and i actually got some info out of it, only i myself could not for the life of me get the same info. It doesn't matter what setting i have it on, fast, balanced or best, the results are the same.

Submitted by Martijn - Spar… on Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dear all,

We have just released a major update for Talking Goggles. The photo mode has been improved a lot, it will now recognise almost anything or at least say something useful about it. Text recognition has improved a lot and handwritten texts are handled fine as well.

We haven't done this update for the video mode yet, since improved video processing would be costly for us and the price of the app doesn't allow that. We understand this is the more useful feature for the blind and low-vision community, and we will see if we can find a way to still offer this as well.

The speak out should now work flawless as well, but if you encounter any issues we would love to know.

Please let us know what you think, we can definitely make further adjustments, we really want to do all we can to provide a useful tool.

Have a wonderful day,
Martijn (Sparkling Apps)

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Saturday, July 2, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 2.2

Major improvements in photo recognition. Goggles will now check the photo and come up with a description of the image. This means that for example, it
may not recognise a picture of Mount Everest as such, but it will definitely recognise it as being a mountain.
Text recognition has been improved a lot as well, it is now able to read and speak out most handwritten text as well. Together with the built-in translation
function, this makes goggles a powerful tool indeed.
Talking Goggles has been a very popular app among the blind and visually impaired community, and we hope this update will prove to be an even more useful
tool. Best of luck with this update, please let us know if you have any recommendations or suggestions!