Two potentially valuable mobile apps aimed at helping deaf people communicate have been designed by teams in Singapore.
Advertising corporation Grey Group Singapore and Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) will soon realease the apps, for use on Android operating systems. They will be free to download from the Google Play Store from 25 April 2014 onwards.
The first is named “Say It With Signs”, and aims to allow telephone communication between hearing and deaf people, when text messaging is not available (e.g. when driving). By using voice recognition technology, the phone can convert audio into digital hand signs which will be displayed on the receiving mobile phone screen. The deaf person can then reply through text message, which will be converted into an audio clip.
“Say It With Signs” currently has a library of 500 words, but the team hope to upgrade this to 4,000 before the end of June.
The second is named “Hearing Aide”. This app focuses on safety; upon hearing a pre-programmed warning sound, the phone alerts users to the danger through 20 second vibrations and a message. There are five standard alarms already set, such as fire alarms, crying babies and boiling kettles, but the app can also store further custom alarms.
An executive officer of the SADeaf, who nearly got hit by a fire engine after failing to hear the sirens, said:
“Just like how I almost got into an accident, I believe that the rest of the (deaf) community also face similar problems. With this app, it can really save their lives.”
The apps will be available in English, and iOS versions should be released by the end of June. Data charges will be apply to use of “Say It With Signs”.
By Emily Howlett
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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