Eureka Park Preview: SignAll Has Created Technology That Translates Sign Language Automatically. See This Amazing Startup At CES 2018
We’ve seen some amazing technology created to help people that are blind or deaf. The past five years has seen more innovation in those specific areas than the previous three decades combined. Being hard of hearing or deaf can present pretty big obstacles for people, because communication is so important to everything that we do.
We’ve seen tv shows like Switched At Birth, celebrate the amazing lives of young people who are hard of hearing or deaf. On the other hand we’ve seen people make a complete mockery of sign language at press conferences. Communication barriers create huge frustrations for everyone.
On the technology side we’ve seen startups that have created Google Glass solutions for those that are hard of hearing. We saw a startup at ISTE 2017 over the summer that was using cameras to beam classroom discussions to a data center and than had it transcribed in quasi real time.
A Hungarian startup called SignAll is using technology to create the easiest possible sign language translation platform in the world. SignAll uses a system of cameras and a depth sensor that allows the signer to sign freely and their words just flow on the screen. There are some deep technical innovations behind the scenes.
Using SignAll will make every day life for signers a lot easier. You could take SignAll to the bank, the library, the pharmacy, a car dealership, school, work, you name it. That’s why they developed the product in the first place.
SignAll points out that what most people take for granted is the fact that spoken English is the second language for people who are born deaf. Sign language is their first language. We all know that we prefer to communicate in our first languages whenever possible.
Currently in the prototype stage SignAll utilizes 3 webcams and a depth sensor to capture the signer. The depth sensor is placed at chest height and the cameras are placed around them, ensuring that every angle of the signing is captured. This allows the path, the shape of the hands and the gestures to be captured completely. A PC syncs up and processes these images in real time from each different angle.
The PC uses a natural language processing module that is able to transform the signs into grammatically correct, fully formed sentences.
This automated translation of sign language has been one of the biggest technology challenges. This is because sign language is made up of five key components that when you can’t capture the signer fully, you may miss an important part of the translation. SignAll is the first automated interpreting solution that takes into account those five components:
- Manual components
- Facial expressions
- ASL Registers (the way signers convey feelings in their words)
- Use of space
The company is currently signing people up for their pilot program and they are working on moving from prototype to product.
You can see the working prototype at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, January 9-12th in Eureka Park, booth #50843 and online at signall.us