Despite of being close-knit, the differently abled have always faced seclusion in some way or another. This seclusion is the result of a lot of factors. But one group of people that face the most discrimination are the hearing impaired. This is because of the lack of development in terms of technologies that could aid them to bypass their disabilities. ASL (American Sign Language), unfortunately is not known by all. So, when the need arises for them to communicate with a hearing vendor, be even inquire the price of Oranges, a rather disjointed attempt is made regarding conversation.
The hearing impaired deserve to have their dignity intact and we as an organization, condemn the big technology companies who are so focused on reaching for the stars, that they are ignorant or just plain disinterested in bothering about them and the other equally disabled.
Some techs and gadgets which have been invented and some that are in search of funding are mentioned below.
1. Motion Savvy–Sign Language Recognition:
A novel method for communication with the help of this gadget. Understanding and then translating Sign Language and then transferring it into plain English was made possible with a Motion detecting device that hopes to capture all the different subtleties and variants in sign language. With options available to upload on cloud different vocabularies and even upload your unique custom signs we are sure this gadget shall help one and all.
2. Smart Gloves:
The absolute opposite of what is being offered by the Motion Savvy device (see point 1 above) Smart gloves translates into English, the ASL that is being depicted by the wearer. A computer program runs via the PC’s Bluetooth while translating it to real time speech. Invented by 2 students from Washington University, they have been awarded many sanctions by different universities and organizations. Here’s hoping this becomes a reality soon.
Apps that exist:
3. The Convo Lights App:
We are partial to this app as it uses light as a medium of communication. Working in collaboration with Phillips Hue, they are utilizing Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs that can change color or turn off and on via a smartphone app. As one receives a call or a message, the Personalized light launches the different types of ringtones and even establishing a differentiation between callers. Even missed calls have a separate Hue!
While we all relate with Uber as the go to app to book rides across town, it quietly offered a boon for all hearing impaired. Being an equal opportunity employer, it has updated its app to accommodate Hearing impaired drivers. Their updated app offers features like flashing trip request, text-only communication with the riders and even notifying the rider before the trip starts that their driver is deaf or hard of hearing. These features can help many others if implemented everywhere.
5. Google Glass:
A gigantic leap in technology was brought about with the collaboration between Google and Speech-to-Text company, 121 Captions. They have attached sensors that detect ASL ad then convert it into text bubbles that flash on lens. A similar glass has been invented by Danish designer Mads Hindhede. Once worn, they record speech and translate it to text in real time. These are the inventions that can help people and bridge the divide between the hearing and the hearing impaired. We are keeping our eyes open for this one!
There you have it. These are just a few of all real-life applications of technologies that aid the disabled and impaired. We hope you like this post and would come back for more such articles. Please share your feedback in comments and happy reading!