Talking tins are magnetic, reusable voice recorders you can easily put on food items and, by recording your own voice, label them - for example, “baked beans in this tin”. They also come with a Velcro strap for wrapping around non-metal containers. As they’re magnetic, you can also attach them to surfaces such as the front of the fridge, so you could record short messages on them such as phone numbers, shopping lists or messages for other members of the household.
They’re available in yellow with a 20-second recording limit and red with a recording limit of 40 seconds.
The PenFriend is an audio labelling device that you can use to record your own voice onto sticky labels, which you can attach to a wide range of items – such as food or clothing. It helps you identify the item by playing back your recording when you place the PenFriend onto the label.
Bump-ons are tactile stickers that you can use to mark equipment with hard surfaces, such as settings on your dishwasher, oven, toaster or washing machine. Bump-ons are usually round but also come as squares. They’re available in a range of colours, most commonly orange, black and transparent.
Tacti-mark is a liquid plastic that you can use on clothing, paper, metal and hard plastics. You can apply it in different shapes to help with labelling. Be aware that once it has hardened (which takes 24 hours), it can't be easily removed.
You can also use your mobile phone or tablet to help with identifying items. This could be through video calling someone you know or using apps such as:
Seeing AI is a free app that can describe the world around you, created by Microsoft specifically for Apple iOS devices.
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects people with sight loss to sighted volunteers.
NaviLens is a free app available on iOS and Android devices. It uses labels that you can print yourself and then attach to items you want to label.
BeSpecular, a nifty app that uses a team of sighted volunteers to answer quick questions you might have about the world around you.