A group of deaf students have been awarded a $25,000 grant to help them create a device which will translate signs into words and sentences. The money will be used to develop the product for the next five years, including expanding a sign language database with up to 20,000 signs.
Winning the grant means Ryan Hait-Campbell, a new media design major from Seattle; Alex Opalka, a computer engineering technology major from Glastonbury, Conn.; Wade Kellard, a mechanical engineering technology major from Cincinnati; and Jordan Stemper, an industrial design major from Waukesha, Wis., have been accepted into Leap Motion’s LEAP AXLR8R in San Francisco.
Working under the name ‘MotionSavvy’, they are developing programmes for the Leap Motion 3-D sensor, which can recognise even very small hand movements. The students hope to create an application that will translate a hand shape into a text letter.
With further development, they hope that the sensor will eventually be able to translate a stream of sign language into words and sentences. This could then be used to aid communication in a variety of situations, including retail and government settings.
The team pitched their idea to Arvind Gupta, founder and director of the LEAP AXLR8R, via Skype. He said: “I’m very excited about MotionSavvy and everything they’re trying to do. It’s people helping themselves and helping others through technology.”
He continued, “Their demonstration prototype was very impressive. I think they have the potential to make meaningful changes to the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Simple communication can be extremely difficult for them. This could enable people to have a new way of communicating with the world.”
The students know only too well the communication barriers faced by deaf people. Hait-Campbell still has painful memories of not being able to communicate with his hearing peers at school. He said: “I don’t want others having to experience that.”
The team have approached government agencies, area businesses and hospitals to determine whether there is interest in their product, and to try and find potential investors.
“We’ll need money for research and development of the product and determining how we can improve the existing services and break into new markets,” Opalka said.
By Emily Howlett
Read the original article here – http://www.ntid.rit.edu/news/ritntid-students-accepted-high-tech-business-accelerator
Check out what Limping Chicken’s supporters provide:
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics.
- Bellman: hearing loss solutions
- Ai-Live: Live captions and transcripts.
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support.
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services.
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials.
- STAGETEXT: theatre captioning.
- Krazy Kat: visual theatre with BSL.
- SignHealth: healthcare support for Deaf people.
- Deafinitely Theatre: theatre from a Deaf perspective.
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support.
- SDHH: Deaf television programmes online.
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning.
- Lexicon Signstream: BSL interpreting and communication services.
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting.
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children.
- RAD Deaf Law Centre: legal advice for Deaf people.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Rayovac: Never run out of hearing aid batteries again by subscribing!
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. How to make Live Automated Captions with Apple’s Latest 'Clips' App
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people