There are already a lot of incredible communication options available for the hard-of-hearing community, such as amplified telephones and visual ringers, but these options are only the beginning when it comes to assistive technology. With improvements in technology and fresh minds dedicated to improving the quality of life for the hard of hearing, there is a lot to look forward to. Here is a look at a few of the options on the horizon:
Translating Robotic Hand
Sign language is an amazing way to communicate, but it is not a one-sided language. Both people in the conversation need to know it for it to be effective, which is not always possible. But a team of engineers in Belgium is out to stop this from being a barrier with what they call Project Aslan. Their latest invention is a robotic hand that can hear the spoken word and translate it into sign language. It uses a webcam to identify what is being said, and then it spells out the words letter by letter so that the message can be relayed. It is still under development, but once released, it is expected to be around $300 and will be small enough to be transportable.
Cameras That Read Sign Language
The robotic hand helps the deaf understand someone who is talking to them, but on the other side of the spectrum you have the barrier of someone who doesn’t understand sign language. With the newest invention from KinTrans, this problem is solved. The camera-and-microphone combo is able to visually read sign language and then speak what is being said for the other party. Not only does it boast a 98-percent accuracy in translating the sign language, it is able to relay the words in several languages.
Smart Hearing Aids
When someone relies on hearing aids to communicate, it can be impossible to listen to someone when there are crowds or other background noise competing with the voice of the person talking. But researchers at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science are out to change that. Their cognitive hearing aid is currently in the development stage, but it has incredible potential. It works by reading the brainwaves of the wearer in an effort to distinguish what noise the person is trying to focus on. The hearing aid will then make that audio louder while making everything else quieter.
With so many incredible minds working together to make life easier for the hard of hearing, there are sure to be many other amazing technologies available soon. At Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc., we are also dedicated to making communication as simple as possible for the deaf and hard of hearing. As a non-profit organization, we provide Florida citizens with the telecommunications equipment they need to effectively communicate with their loved ones near and far. To learn more about how we can help your family, contact us now.