Comparing TapTapSee and ThirdEye by Darcie Crane

text to speech

TapTapSee and Thirdeye

TapTapSee App logo

TapTapSee App


TapTapSee is an app for Android and IOS users. The app is designed to help blind and visually impaired individuals recognize their surroundings and ordinary daily objects. By using the camera and voice over functions, TapTapSee is able to identify a wide range of two and three dimensional objects. While the app is open, you would double tap the camera button and wait a few moments for the image to be processed. Once processed, a description of the object will be read back to you. For example, it may read, “Picture one is white closed window blinds”. I found that most of the descriptions are very detailed and mostly accurate. TapTapSee is also able to repeat whatever the image was, in case you need to hear it again with the repeat button. Also, you are able to share photos through email, Facebook, Twitter, and text message. When you tap the share button after taking a photo, it will give you all these options and you can select the one you want. You can also save the photos to a library where you can then go back to them at a later time.


ThirdEye App Interface

ThirdEye App

Thirdeye is also an app that assist blind individuals recognize everyday objects. It is also available on IOS and Android products. It has two features, called “Read This” and “Recognize This”, respectively. The “Recognize This” feature will provide a short description of the object or setting around you. When a picture has been processed, it will say, “Labels found,” and then describe the object. Thirdeye has a database of a million images, and it is constantly being updated. The “Read This” feature processes text and will read it back to you. It will read documents, book pages, menus, and any other written print.   Comparing both Apps: Thirdeye’s recognize feature I found to be a bit too vague especially when compared to TapTapSee. For example, I took a picture of my dog with Thirdeye using the recognize feature and it said, “Labels found, Dog.” While it wasn’t wrong, next I used TapTapSee and when I took a picture with the camera, it said, “Picture one, black and white long coated medium sized dog lying on carpet.” I also used these two apps to take a picture of my friend’s kitchen counter to see what was on it. Thirdeye’s recognize feature told me, “Labels found, manmade object.” While TapTapSee told me, “Picture one, black Keurig coffee maker near white and green floral canister.” The amount of detail TapTapSee gave me was much more pronounced and specific, and helped form a more accurate picture of my surroundings. TapTapSee is more helpful in distinguishing objects, but Thirdeye is able to read text. When I opened a random book, I used both apps to take a picture of the same page. TapTapSee informed me that it was a book and gave me the page number. Thirdeye though, when I selected the “Read This” feature, it read the entire page back to me. Though some of the words were off, it provided enough information for me to identify which book it was, and what part of the story was on the page. Both apps were able to identify different boxes of food. First I took a picture of a box with TapTapSee. It read, “Picture one, Orville Redenbacher’s value size popcorn box”. Be careful in selecting “Read This” and “Recognize This” with Thirdeye though, because when I used Thirdeye and the “Recognize This” button, it read, “Labels found, Food”, which wasn’t helpful at all. But when I used the “Read This” button on Thirdeye, it read, “Movie Theater Orville single served butter”. The “Read This” feature gave me almost the same information as TapTapSee. I really enjoyed TapTapSee’s ability to send photos. Not only was I able to take photos and know what I took a picture of, I was able to send them to my friends. My friends are currently enjoying a bunch of photos of my dogs. I sent most of my photos through text message, and in the text the photo is followed by a tag of the description that TapTapSee provides. I have never been able to do this before, so this has been a new experience that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. Thirdeye does not provide this feature.   Conclusions- Both apps definitely have their strengths and weaknesses. I preferred TapTapSee when it comes to recognizing objects and settings. Its attention to detail was impressive, but when it comes to reading documents and written print, Thirdeye was more helpful.  


The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) leads North Carolina's efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology. Visit our website at
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