Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Object Recognition

Identifying objects or products with spoken words

What does it do?

Object Recognition and Product Identification can be done with labels created by you or those already on the object. Typically, these labels are either bar code or QR code printed labels. When placing either a smart device camera above the label or pointing a device with a camera on board near the label spoken text recorded for that label will be heard.

What tools are there for object recognition?

  • PenFriend – The PenFriend, pictured here, is a device that can recognize labels and match it to your spoken recording.

Related Apps

Several apps are available which can use the smart device camera to identify the object by comparing the label to information saved with the code.

PenFriend is a black scanning wand with four yellow buttons.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

object identification technology, labelling systems for the blind

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Jule Ann Lieberman

Jule Ann Lieberman has earned her Master of Science in Low Vision Therapy, is dual certified by Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals ( as Low Vision Therapist and Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist. Jule Ann began her work in assistive technology instructing blind and low vision adults in the use of assistive technology in 1998. She joined TechOWL, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University (formerly known as Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology) in 2013 as Assistive Technology Specialist and continues to provide information and assistance, consultation, demonstrations, and public awareness training in the use of assistive technology. Jule Ann has presented educational sessions at national and regional assistive technology conferences for many years. She has been legally blind with a progressive vision impairment since age of 16 and enjoys learning new technologies and how it meets the needs of those with vision loss and blindness.

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