Sign Language and Technology

google glass Technology fans continue to seek out new mobile smartphone apps to bring greater efficiency to their lives. Need to know where to find the cheapest gas in your area? Try the Gas Buddy app in the Android store. Want to improve your cooking techniques? Try the Photo Cookbook for your iPhone. The list goes on.

But for those of us living, breathing and working in sign language services and ASL recognition efforts, the growth in technology has spurred new developments across major fronts. Today, there are growing amounts of apps available to teach sign language in many iterations. Learning apps for finer ASL understanding, and apps that help with vocabulary projects for deaf kids are now available through mobile platforms. Both the Android Play store and iTunes from Apple offer a wide range of free and paid apps that explore sign language and ASL learning.

And coming soon, Google’s emerging Google Glass may become the next new platform of choice for ASL apps. Glass is Google’s entry into wearable computing, a move that’s taking the computer and turning it into new form functions. Its digital headset can work with apps, shoot HD video, take and upload photos and check maps and directions. Glass works best when connected to high-speed Internet connection. Look in your local area for the fastest Internet speeds. Glass looks certain to grow as a platform of new possibilities for deaf-focused and ASL applications.

Deaf Applications

Estimates from the National Institute on Deafness  show that about 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. The challenge for these families is that the parents generally do not know sign language and therefore have trouble communicating with their deaf child. Utilizing technology apps on smartphones — and now Glass — can help alleviate that issue.

Startup group SMARTSign is bridging the gap between a mobile smartphone app and Google Glass to increase vocabulary efforts between a deaf child and his parents. Initially a project created by a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech, SmartSign today is a sign language learning app to teach American Sign Language concepts and practice methods, according to Wearables Today.

The app sets up different tests for ASL-inclined persons. It then forwards these quizzes to a reader at periodic points throughout the day. Users can inform the Glass SmartSign app regarding the timing and frequency of the quizzes.

This ASL learning tool combines about 1,000 ASL signs into a vocabulary collection. The Glass app can help parents to become better sign language teachers to their children.

Teaching ASL instruction in this manner is a big leap forward for parents interacting with deaf children. By searching for videos of different signs, they can study different quizzes for a sign test. Recording with the Glass camera allows users to check their learning on a daily basis, or view to see the ASL signing, with a report card function that tracks forward growth.

Check out Georgia Tech’s SMARTsign

Glass in 2014?

Google has been mum about when Google Glass headsets will be available to the general public. It is said to happen in early 2014, but rumors are already floating the possibility of a Christmas season launch of Glass. As more people start to use this emerging application platform, the possibilities for even more ASL and sign language technology advancement may be on the horizon sooner than expected.



Guest writer: Albert Farmer

Albert writes about Web design and coding

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About Evelyn

Evelyn Hunter is a SODA with years of experiential study in Deaf Culture. She attended Gallaudet University to immerse herself in this unique deaf world while working for the University and studying sign language to hone her skills. Evelyn has served in training, relationship sales, and marketing -- always seeking to expand awareness of Deaf Culture and the unique challenges the deaf face on a daily basis. The Sign Language Company has recently established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and a website with a blog, as Evelyn coordinates the marketing and outreach efforts for the agency. Her goal is to attract new clients seeking exceptional service, while maintaining optimal relationships with clients who have selected The Sign Language Company for over 20 years.

View all posts by Evelyn

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2 Responses to “Sign Language and Technology”

  1. Dorielle Herbsleb Says:

    I am deaf old 29 year old I want to know how get that glass for me to watch interpreter center????

    I want one it cool I never hear before I see on YouTube that cool I want one how cost is ot????


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