Talking Goggles - a camera with speech
Description of App
Free or Paid
Apple Watch Support
Device(s) App Was Tested On
Developer's Twitter Username
3 people have recommended this app
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.
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
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
What's New in Version 1.6
Resolved some stability issues.
Improved image recognition.
What's New in Version 1.7
Resolved recognition issues
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
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
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.
Does anyone know what the difference is between the paid and free versions of this app?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
A very nice update.
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!