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Digit-Eyes: Identify and Organize Your World

Step 3: Make and Scan a Text Label
What are Text Labels? Digit-Eyes text labels are a particular kind of bar code that you create on the Digit-Eyes website and, using standard address labels, print on the printer attached to your computer system.  This type of label contains text that can be voiced by the Digit-Eyes application on your phone.   You do not need to have a phone connection or an Internet connection to scan this type of label because the Digit-Eyes application on your phone is capable of reading the label to you. 

There are two steps to making and using a text label.

  1. You create text labels by visiting the Digit-Eyes website, specifying the type of address label you have and entering the content that you want to have put in the bar codes that you print on the labels.  The website will format the codes for you and you'll be able to print them on address labels using the printer attached to your computer. When you want to label something, you just affix the bar code label to it.
  2. To read a text label, start the Digit-Eyes application on your phone. Click the 'scan' button and use the phone to scan the label. When the code on the label is recognized, the Digit-Eyes application on your phone will read the content of the label out loud to you.

When are text labels useful? Digit-Eyes text labels are useful when you know in advance what you want the label to say or if you want to create labels that many people can read with their phones (perhaps inventory tags, labels that identify your canning or even identification labels for critical household papers.) The content of a text label is public because anyone who has Digit-Eyes on their phone can read these labels.

More about text labels...

What is involved in this training section? The purpose of this section is to acquaint you with the process of making and scanning a Digit-Eyes text label and to let you practice scanning until the process comes easily.

There are two steps to this process:

  1. You'll start by specifying what you want the label to say.   The website will create a worksheet that contains your code and will open a new window that contains your worksheet.   Using the printer attached to your computer, you'll print the worksheet.
  2. Using the worksheet you've printed, you'll use the Digit-Eyes application on your phone to practice scanning the worksheet so you learn how to get the phone to 'capture' the bar code image.  Each time the code is captured, Digit-Eyes will use VoiceOver on your phone to read the contents of the bar code aloud to you.

You should repeat this exercise until you are able to scan your sample text label dependably.

Let's make and scan a code:  What would you like your bar code to say?  You can enter up to 100 characters in the text input box below.  This text will be put into a single bar code on your worksheet  (we'll warn you if your content is too long!)

When you click the "Print label in new window" button above, a new window will open that has a worksheet. On the worksheet, you'll find a Digit-Eyes bar code that contains the text you entered above plus an abbreviated version of these instructions in large print.

Print the worksheet and place it on a flat surface in reasonably good light. Ordinary indoor light is fine; Digit-Eyes will warn you if the light is not bright enough to get a good scan.

The scan distance for Digit-Eyes codes increases with the size of the code -- the bigger the code, the farther away you can be and still scan it. Using the iPhone 3GS, the smallest codes should be scanned at a distance of 2-4 inches (5 cm - 10 cm).  A code of 4 inches / 10 cm. can be scanned of a distance of 2 feet / .66 meter. With the iPhone 4, you can scan from about twice as far away (4-8 inches for a small code) and with the iPhone 5, this increases to 8-12 inches for a small code).

Start the Digit-Eyes application on your phone and click the 'Scan' button on the screen. The Digit-Eyes code that appears on the worksheet is about 1 inch / 2.5 cm. square in size. The top left corner of the code is located about .25 inch / 5 cm. from the top corner of the worksheet.  You need to start with the camera of the phone close to the area on the worksheet where the code is located and then move the camera away using a slow, floating motion. This motion triggers the autofocus mechanism in the camera which, in turn, allows the Digit-Eyes app on your phone to capture the code. Please note that the item you are scanning does not need to be perfectly straight to the camera; Digit-Eyes can read bar codes in any orientation.

You will hear a beep when Digit-Eyes starts scanning, a recurring clicking sound while it is scanning and another tone when it finds the code. If you do not get scan results right away, move your phone a little farther away or move it slowly to the right or the left above the worksheet.

After you hear the second tone, Digit-Eyes will voice the content of the code you created.

If you would like to create more codes for practice, please feel free to do so.

Digit-Eyes also allows you to create special serial number labels that can be used to make and retrieve audio recordings on your phone. These are called 'Audio Labels.' If you are comfortable with scanning text labels, you are now ready to try recording an audio label.   Click here to go to the next step and make an audio label.



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