Technology continues to leave a prominent impact on society. While technological advances have come a long way (and continue to improve), there are still hurdles. This is especially true for the 360 million people worldwide who experience hearing loss to some degree.
There hasn’t been a major innovation in hearing technology since 1985. Long overdue for some change, scientists and researchers alike have begun working on a number of experimental techniques to help with hearing loss. These new hearing interventions could greatly improve the quality of life for millions.
One of these hearing improvement innovations happened right here in Rochester.
MotionSavvy UNI was founded by a team of students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The team announced it as “the world’s first real-time translation technology and two-way communication software for the deaf.” MotionSavvy converts sign language to grammatically correct spoken language.
American Sign Language (ASL) is translated into speech, and speech into text. A special camera is able to track the precise location of both hands and all 10 fingers. These graphic representations provide live feedback and make sure that all gestures are being captured accurately. The software’s dictionary has the ability to expand with customized signs added by the user. The more individuals use the system, the more accurate and tailored it becomes.
Since 2011, MotionSavvy continues to build a database of signs that are being used by a surplus of industries to improve communication for those with hearing loss.