the new bar code ID feature of taptapsee

iOS & iPadOS

Hello. Taptapsee is a fantastic app and I use it frequently for color, currency, and object identification. I was very excited to see the addition of an automatic bar code scanning feature to taptapsee. I tried it out today, with some difficulty. I needed assistance from a sighted coworker to orient my phone exactly over a bar code on a box of protein shakes. Taptapsee spoke the bar code without me needing to take a picture, but the bar code was all that was spoken. The repeat button did not reread it, and the product was not identified. My coworker informed me that the bar code contained a few numbers that were not read by voiceover. Therefore, it seems reasonable for me to assume that taptapsee couldn't correctly identify the bar code. Here are my questions: 1. Is this feature of taptapsee designed to speak the name of the product, brand, nutritional content, or directions? 2. Are there any tips for effectively locating and identifying a bar code using taptapsee? 3. Would it be possible for the developers to enable taptapsee to play a sound different from that of the camera focus to alert the user that a bar code has been spotted by the camera? I am interested in others' experiences with the new bar code scanning feature of taptapsee.



Submitted by Orko on Thursday, October 23, 2014

This is a new feature, that said it still needs work.

I tried it using a couple of products that I knew exactly where it's UPC code is on its package. The package types I tried were, a box, a can, and a bag. When TapTapSee does recognize a UPC code, it attempts to identify the product., however; all it gives you is the product's name. TapTapSee works best if the UPC code is on a flat surface, so a box worked best, finding the UPC code in three out of five attempts. I was able to get it to recognize a UPC code on the bagged product only once out of five attempts. And I was never able to get it to recognize a bar code on a can.

Scanning UPC codes is an interesting feature to add to TapTapSee, which is a great app, however; there are so many UPC bar code scanning apps available, that I think the TapTapSee developer's time could have been better spent on other features.

If you are looking for something to scan UPC and other barcode with, I'd recommend looking at either Red Laser or Digit Eyes.

For UPC code scanning I use Red Laser. It very fast in capturing UPC codes at any angle, even when it is moving in the frame. The only negative thing I can think of concerning Red Laser is that there is no feedback of any kind while scanning. It totally silent until it sees a UPC code, then it beeps and opens a window or dialog with the product's information.

Another UPC code scanner I've tried is Digit Eyes. Its scanning is sluggish compared to Red Laser's but I'm told it uses sounds to guide you to positioning the camera so it can get a readable image of the UPC code. I haven't yet tried this myself, so I can't tell you if, or how well it works.

For product information provided, that depends on what is in the database the app uses. I've seen varying amounts of information from very complete to very limited in both Red Laser and Digit Eyes. Some databases are better than others, for example, I've heard that the database Digit Eyes uses is one of the best, but I've also had Digit Eyes completely misidentify some product that Red Laser gets right. And I've had the reverse happen too. Digit Eyes correctly identified a product that Red Laser would only tell me the manufacturer's name.

For now, I'll continue to use TapTapSee to identify objects that I'm pretty sure I can't use Red Laser for. But if I know there's a UPC code on what I'm trying to identify, I'll use Red Laser.

Submitted by TapTapSee on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hi flcomputergeek,

Thank you for writing about and sharing your experiences regarding our new barcode scanning feature. We are constantly trying to improve TapTapSee on a daily basis, and posts from users like you help us to do so.

Since the scanning feature is relatively new, we're still working out some kinks, but we're very excited to release further enhancements to this feature. We're currently working on ways to integrate an audible cue to notify users when a barcode has been scanned as well as integrate the Repeat button into the scanning feature.

Here are some helpful tips for using the scanner:
To ensure that you're using the barcode scanner correctly, make sure that you're in a well lit environment and that you're holding the barcode in a horizontal position to the camera (as in, make sure that the barcode reads left to right). For canned goods, it may be easier to put the can on its side. Hold the camera over the barcode. It may take a few times for the camera to focus properly, indicated by the autofocus notification. Start further away from the object and wait for the autofocus notification. If you do not hear an identification, then slowly move closer and wait for the autofocus notifications again. Move closer until you receive a result.

TapTapSee is indeed designed to speak the name of the product. However, while some barcode types are enabled by default in a scanner, many others must be manually activated in order to read. This may be why some barcodes do not produce a product identification.

We are also working on a more advanced feature that will notify a user when a bar code has been spotted by the camera.

I hope this information has helped. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. As I have said, we are actively working on improving features attached to the barcode scanner. If you or anyone else have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at


The TapTapSee Team

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