Computer scientists from Technabling, a company based in Aberdeen, Scotland, are developing an application that will hopefully bridge the gap between the deaf or hearing-impaired and the hearing world.
PSLT, or Portable Sign Language Translator, would be the first portable sign language translator application according to the developers. Users can sign into a camera connected to a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and the device returns typed words back to the user or whoever they are communicating with. Much like voice recognition programs, users can also “teach” the program their own signed words and customize it to work with their specific type of sign language, (British Sign Language, American Sign Language, etc.) or regional dialects.
The developers hope that the application will help the hearing impaired feel more engaged in the hearing world and open up career or other opportunities to them. The software is also targeted towards people with speech difficulties or reduced mobility to help them communicate.
Although the application is still in the development process, the developers have said on their website that the demo version should be available soon, after they go through the testing phase. With such extensive testing, let’s hope that the PSLT will be more reliable than voice-recognition programs, which are prone to errors and have an accuracy rate of maybe 60% – 80%.
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