Adapted from TechCrunch
There are plenty of things to take for granted in this life, and the ability to communicate with
others is one of them. This may not be as easy of a task for the deaf. While they can communicate using sing language, the vast majority of people around them do not understands it or ‘speak’ it, making the deaf’s ability to communicate limited to the few who can.
With technology comes opportunity, though- MotionSavvy is building a tablet case that has the ability to translate American Sign Language into English and vice versa. The entire 6-person team is deaf.
The case has 3D motion recognition, which detects when a person is using ASL and converts it to text or voice. The software also has voice recognition through the tablet’s mic, which allows a hearing person to respond with voice to the person signing. It then converts their voice into text, which the hearing-impaired receiver can understand.
The current prototype only understands about 100 words. The team’s plan is to crowd-source the “massive” number of signs necessary to make this an effective tool. There are many thousands of signs in ASL alone, and various different “accents” or ways it is spoken.
Over 800 deaf people have signed up for the beta test, and hopes are that a consumer-ready product will hit the market in September 2015.
“This will give deaf people the power over their lives, the power to lead the lifestyle they want to have,” The team explain.