Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Hand Talk

AI sign language translation tech breaks barriers


An AI-powered app translates spoken or written text into Brazilian and American Sign Languages

Spotted: The Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) Foundation says that “from both a civil rights and a business perspective, people with disabilities are underserved by today’s digital products.” Without an interpreter, this can often mean that certain spaces – whether online or in person – are inaccessible to people with hearing loss.

A translation app specifically for users of sign language can help. Built by Brazilian company Hand Talk, the award-winning platform uses artificial intelligence and two charismatic digital interpreters, Maya and Hugo, to translate voice and text into sign language.

The app translates Portuguese into Libras – Brazilian Sign Language or BSL – and English into American Sign Language (ASL). The app is free, and users can save their most frequently accessed interpretations for offline use. There is also a paid-for option in the app that removes advertising. So far, the app has translated nearly two billion words, and, as well as translation support, it can also help hearing people learn sign language.

In addition, Hand Talk has developed a plugin for companies to use on their websites, so that deaf people browsing a site can easily translate text into sign language, again using Maya or Hugo as a 3D translator. A Beta version of the plugin is available for businesses to try now.

Hand Talk highlights to organisations that as useful as its translation services are, they’re no replacement for professional interpreters and a general dedication to promoting accessibility in all areas. The company also provides an online resource for a broad range of accessibility resources, including global digital guidelines and standards.

From invisible smart hearing aids to AI sign language tech for online meetings, Springwise’s library includes a number of innovations using technology to help improve accessibility for people with hearing loss.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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