Advances in mobile technology for the hearing impaired


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Intel’s IQ innovation column looks at the road so far for mobile technology and its positive impact for the deaf and hearing impaired and future prospects.

The mobile technology revolution has changed communications for everyone, but the hearing impaired and deaf community have seen significant changes in their ability to communicate thanks to mobile devices and apps. In early September, Intel’s IQ column summed up the situation.

In the early years, email, texts, and instant messaging made interactions with hearing people much easier for the hearing impaired. Activities like ordering over the phone or calling for a taxi have now become perfectly routine through mobile communication. Then, video chat apps such as Facetime and Skype proved useful for communicating using sign language and lip reading. Short video apps such as Instagram, Tout, and Glide can also be used to exchange short messages in sign language. Closed captions or subtitles can be passed through mobile technology.

Now, the field is moving one step further. Effective real-time transcription systems are gaining in popularity. An app called Transcense is currently in development and will transcribe conversations with multiple participants in real time. The app transcribes multiple voices at the same time and assigns each speaker a different color bubble in its single scrolling readout. Another example is the soon to be released app MotionSavvy, which will use a specialized camera to track a user’s finger and hand motions and transcribe sign language in real time, speaking the transcription out loud.

Source: IQ Intel.