Newsletter: Translate Sign Language & Homepod Not Furniture Friendly

Newsletter: Translate Sign Language & Homepod Not Furniture Friendly


“If we can reduce the cost and improve the quality of medical technology through advances in nanotechnology, we can more widely address the medical conditions that are prevalent and reduce the level of human suffering.” ~ Ralph Merkle



SignAll working on the complicated task of making accurate, real-time machine translation American Sign Language a real thing.


Translating English to Spanish, or Ancient Greek to French, is a piece of cake thanks to internet and technology. But translating sign language in real time is pretty hard.

CEO Zsolt Robotka and chief R&D officer Márton Kajtár demonstrated at CES what difficulties they were facing in reaching their goal and how they expect the field to evolve and set things right!

He stated, “It’s multi-channel communication; it’s really not just about shapes or hand movements,” explained Robotka. “If you really want to translate sign language, you need to track the entire upper body and facial expressions — that makes the computer vision part very challenging.”

It seems to be a lengthy process and SignAll is moving towards it slowly but steadily. It is a difficult task as that’s huge volume in which to track subtle movement. The current setup uses  Kinect 2 approximately at the center and three RGB cameras placed at a foot. They need to work on making the system so capable that it reconfigures itself for every new user as everyone has their own manner of speaking, all ASL users sign in a different manner.

He further added, “We need this complex configuration because then we can work around the lack of resolution, both time and spatial (i.e. refresh rate and a number of pixels), by having different points of view. You can have quite complex finger configurations, and the traditional methods of skeletonizing the hand don’t work because they occlude each other. So we’re using the side cameras to resolve occlusion.”

Moreover, they are working on facial expressions and gestures as they too play a role in understanding what’s being said. It is known fact that sign language is different than all other languages. As it is quite difficult to differentiate when one sign ends and another begins. Its difficult language which can’t be translated from word to word.

SignAll is not working on translating individual words but sentences in a sequence, which is a tough nut to crack. It would be fine for simple things such as asking directions, real meaningful communication. However, if done, it might lead to misinterpretation as well.

Soon the company’s first pilot of the system at  Gallaudet University. SignAll will be installing a translation booth at the school so that hearing people can interact with deaf staff. The company has collected the 3D data of all these signs to complete the task.


This is a wonderful task that the Budapest company is doing and it should definitely help increase the communication between deaf and hearing people. Visitors who can speak but don’t know sign language, the query can be converted to text and answered to with signs, which are then translated into text or synthesized speech.

Although it seems to be a lengthy process it helps to communicate the two without any issues. The project is flagrant example how technology in future can be and what issues can it be facing in future.



Apple acknowledged that HomePod might leave grotesque marks on your favorite wooden furniture.


Apple most awaited HomePod is said to be leaving white marks on wooden surfaces. Apple also confirmed the news. Yesterday a review posted on the renowned website disclosed that the speaker left white circles when placed on a wooden surface. Apple’s posted on the support page, “vibration-dampening silicone base” may leave marks on the wood. The company also informed that the mark will vanish after a few days after you remove the speaker. If not, you can wipe the surface to get rid of the stain.

The support page reads. “The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface,” “If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.”


So much for the Apple most awaited smart speakers, the company delayed the launch of the product saying that it was making it better and competent with the established Google Home and Amazon Echo. Well, with Siri and the response time, it is not doing that great. Now, this, leaving marks on the wooden surface will tarnish the reputation further.

In addition to this, Apple’s ignorant remark that users should try and place the product on a surface other than wood has added fuel to the fire.

Srishti Sisodia is a technical content journalist at Systweak Software. Apart from being a capable engineer, her affinity for inscription draws her towards writing interesting content about contemporary technologies and progressions. She is an avid reader and a fare connoisseur. She relishes different cuisines and when it comes to baking, she takes the cake!

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