It’s been a huge year for advances in technology for the deaf community, making access to the hearing world more possible than ever. At terptree, we have brought you many of the latest innovations via our social media channels. However, as there is very little you can say in a tweet, we’ve decided to review 5 of the most recent apps that can change the world for deaf people.
What is it: RogerVoice is a multilingual app that has been designed for people who cannot hear on the phone. It can be installed onto a smart phone or tablet letting you use the application to make calls. The app works by using live text transcription, letting you read what the other person is saying in the form of text. The creator, Oliver Jeannel, was born profoundly deaf. His ambition was to create an app like this, leading to him quitting his job at the age of 33 to make it happen!
What do we like about it: RogerVoice is a very useful app and could potentially change the lives of deaf people. It makes it easier for deaf people to get in touch with others via the phone. Everyday general and business tasks are made easier by just allowing you to receive and answer a phone call! It allows you to connect with your social community in the way the world does, leaving you feeling involved and not isolated. The RogerVoice team is working on new features for the app, things such as translation, text to voice and a few other elements to develop the app even further.
How much: RogerVoice hasn’t been launched yet but has achieved its kickstarter goal. This means it’ll soon be an app ready to download.
What is it: The Uni is a tablet that enables deaf people to have conversations with hearing people. It is a device that that uses motion sensing technology to convert sign language into speech, and speech into text.
What do we like about it: We think it could have a huge impact on deaf people’s lives. However there are some disadvantages… The Uni has limited vocabulary and slow speeds which might leave it less appealing to the deaf community. It is also only currently programmed for American Sign Language. However, the technology is the magic of the device, and opens up the accessibility to other Sign languages. Will this catch on?
How much is it: This tablet will be made available in the US firstly, and will retail at $800 (approx. £500)
What is it: MyEarDroid is an android app which aims to assist the hard of hearing community in their home environment. Once this app is on your phone it will alert you, through vibration or text, about various sounds going on around you, for example if the doorbell goes or the telephone rings.
What do we like about it: The great thing about this app is that it can be personalised to what sounds are relevant to the user.
This app sounds pretty useful right? We think it has a wide audience appeal and has the ability to be used on an everyday basis. It helps with simple things and important things which makes it appealing to a wider range of people.
How much is it: Amazingly, this app is free to Android users.
What is it: Google Glass is a revolutionary device that you can wear like normal glasses. You can video record with it, and even run against virtual celebrities with it. However one of its genius apps is ‘Live Captioning’. The glasses use speech recognition to help deaf people see the words being spoken by the hearing person, right in front of your eyes!
What do we like about it: This device is incredibly useful for the deaf community as it transforms speech into text in such a clever way! However will people feel comfortable wearing headwear technology or will it make the device less appealing?
How much is it: This device costs £1,000.
What is it: MobileSign is a great app for British Sign Language learners. It’s a free app available on the iPhone and Androids that allows you to search a dictionary of over 4000 signs. To make things easier it automatically keeps a list of the recently viewed signs.
What do we like about it: We think this app could be really useful when communicating or working with deaf people. It’s a quick and easy tool to use which makes things simple for beginner signers. This app has the potential to go wild! But is it everyone’s cup of tea?
How much is it: This app is absolutely free!
In a nutshell there is so much technology out there for the deaf community! Our personal favourite is RogerVoice. We think this app has extraordinary potential and has so much passion behind it. The fact you can use it on your phone makes it easily portable wherever and whenever. It’s available on a round the clock basis and is multilingual!
We’ve enjoyed bringing you this post and seeing the potential these apps have in changing the world for Deaf people. We’d would love to know what apps you’ve come across and how your experiences compare to these ones!
Let us know in the comments below! Thank you for reading… 🙂