Here we are again, another Friday morning on the Delivering Access blog, and of course that means we’re eager to share this week’s #FollowFriday pick with you.
Ready to find out who we are sharing with you this week? Since its release in October 2012, TapTapSee has received 19,000 downloads, and processes hundreds of thousands of images on a daily basis. TapTapSee (along with sister app, CamFind) has brought the ability to assist everyone in the blindness community in identifying various types of items and products that they would otherwise not be able to identify.
Personal Note: I’m an avid user of TapTapSee, and I was completely excited when I took my first picture earlier this year with this very simple to use app, (and to my surprise, it correctly identified my Mickey Mouse shaped telephone).
Please join me as I interview Dmitriy Konopatskiy with TapTapSee, and we learn a bit more about the application, the release of CamFind and why you should be getting all of their tweets over on Twitter.
First, why do we follow @TapTapSee on Twitter?
There are a lot of great apps out there, wouldn’t you agree? But here’s the thing—there aren’t too many that I find myself raving about, however TapTapSee is certainly one of them. Their apps are fantastic, but more importantly, the way they connect with the blindness community is even more impressive.
TapTapSee’s Twitter feed goes beyond just a newswire or customer service channel—it truly taps into the heartbeat of the community they’re serving, and that’s something I think is worth following. Sure, you’ll get updates about their apps (and that info is handy, too), but you’ll also get a glimpse at the many reasons why they build apps to help the blindness community, and the stories around the web that truly fascinate their team.
Q: Dmitriy, who developed the Tap Tap See app and why?
A: The application was developed by a company called, Net Ideas LLC. The co-founders are Dominik Mazur and Bradford Folkens. Bradford has done several interviews about TapTapSee via podcasts.
The app was developed because we saw a need to improve the current image identification technology. Thus, when the application was created. TapTapSee had the blind and visually impaired in mind all along. Moreover, the same technology that powers TapTapSee also powers CamFind (http://CamFindApp.com). It’s a free visual search app that allows a user to take a photograph of any object of interest and have information as well as search results sent back to the user’s device. You can download it for free here, http://goo.gl/8ZIxW.
Q2: How long did it take to design and then release the Tap Tap See app?
A: The technology that drives TapTapSee was first thought of in March 2012. The application was finally released in October 2012. So in total it took roughly seven months. However, we have never stopped improving TapTapSee since its release into the AppStore – we are working on a new update at the moment.
Q3: Since the release of Tap Tap See, a similar app, CamFind, produced by the same developers, has been released. Would you please give us a brief explanation about the differences between these two apps?
Sure. To answer your question, CamFind is different in that it is geared more toward product search, whereas TapTapSee is geared toward the general image identification. In addition, the results that CamFind provides are done to help with visual product search, as opposed to the general image identification of TapTapSee.
Q4: Looking back, is there anything that should have been incorporated in Tap Tap See from the beginning?
A: There’s nothing that makes us think, “Oh man, we should have put this in the first version of the app.” The reason is that we take our user’s feedback and then make adjustments and improvements based on what were suggested. This way we stay true in creating a product for the users. For example, on our last update we added several different languages, because we had people all over the world requesting that we expand the number of languages that TapTapSee is able to speak when identifying an item.
Q5: What do you foresee the future being for the TapTapSee and CamFind apps?
A: We feel that mobile visual search is the future in general. We’re confident that text search will soon become obsolete. Therefore, our goal is to continue expanding TapTapSee into something that can help blind and visually impaired to move forward with the world around them. Too many times the disabled get left behind and we don’t want that to happen again, so we are working on staying a step ahead of the curve with our products in TapTapSee and CamFind.
At the moment we want to continue improving TapTapSee and CamFind on the iOS platform. Our next goal is to begin the development of TapTapSee and CamFind for the Android platform.
Q6: why would someone want to follow @TapTapSee on Twitter?
A: Well, TapTapSee has always been an app that was designed by us, with the user experience in mind. When we first created the app we brought in some members of the Braille institute to beta test the app. Their feedback gave us a lot of inspiration and helped us improve TapTapSee.
I recommend that all TapTapSee users follow our Twitter account because we are very open to interacting with the people that tweet at us. We always take everyone’s feedback in consideration when making new updates to the app. Therefore, having our users follow us will only assist us in providing the best product for the users.
For example, we recently posed a question, “If we add a share function to TapTapSee, will you use it?” A lot of people ReTweeted us and a lot of people provided us with their feedback. It’s amazing to watch the community come to life when discussing new possibilities for the app.
We try to keep our Twitter account active, but organic all at the same time. For example, when there are questions or feedback we’ll provide information and engage in conversation with our followers. Our goal is to answer all concerns that our followers may have about our product.
Content-wise, we tend to speak about new updates, user experience, respond to questions, or ReTweet articles that we feel our users will find to be interesting.
We follow multiple Twitter accounts that provide insightful information about new developments in the world of disability. Moreover, we follow tech accounts to keep an eye out on what new developments are taking place in the app world. And of course, we follow @fedora_outlier.
We tip our fedoras to Dmitriy and the rest of the TapTapSee team as they continue working on products that truly help blind and low vision users each and every day. Make sure to connect with them online by following @TapTapSee on Twitter, following @CamFind on Twitter and visiting the TapTapSee website.
We share and showcase many of our friends (and so much more) over on Twitter. If you’re not following @Fedora_Outlier on Twitter yet—then why not? We’ll keep you plugged in to info on Apple tech, accessibility, disability news and more. Go ahead, follow @Fedora_Outlier on Twitter and stay connected with our team every single day!