3 Tech Innovations Set to Change Lives of Individuals with Hearing Loss in 2016
For those with hearing loss, the main consideration when investing in a new piece of technology or downloading an app is whether or not the technology is hearing-friendly. In fact, technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for those suffering from hearing loss or deafness. Some individuals are even using the iPad and online applications as part of teletherapy programs for deaf children.
Although most technologies have some settings designed for individuals with hearing loss that allows them to communicate properly, there are others that go above and beyond to meet the specific needs of those that have hearing problems. The list below compiles the latest tech innovations that are both useful and hearing-friendly.
1. Skype Translator
Calling and talking to someone on the phone may seem like a simple and natural action to most people. But, to those with hearing loss or deafness, it can be incredibly difficult to talk on the phone. This is where video-calling technology has revolutionized the way we communicate.
Skype is one particular application that has provided extra measures for the hearing impaired. Skype Translator is part of the popular video calling service that allows people, who do not know sign language, to communicate with the hearing impaired. The app immediately translates their words into text for the other person and is available for download with the Skype application.
2. Live-Time Closed Captioning System Glasses
Going out to the movies is another activity that people often take for granted. Movie theaters usually do not provide subtitles for those that cannot hear. However, one seventeen-year-old inventor named Daniil Frants hopes to help the hearing impaired enjoy movies more through his creation.
His invention could be described as the Google Glass for the hearing impaired. The Live-Time Closed Captioning System (LTCCS) is a pair of glasses that takes spoken words and projects them as closed captioning through a tiny screen attached to the lenses. The LTCCS is still in the prototype stages, but its young inventor hopes to finish it by the summer of 2016.
For deaf people, using their own voice for speaking may be difficult or uncomfortable. Uni, a technology that was created by two deaf founders, is designed to address this specific problem. The gadget attaches to a tablet to help turn sign language into a spoken voice in real-time. It works by using cameras to capture what a deaf person signs. The device then translates the sign language into an automated voice and also turns spoken words into text for the deaf person to read and respond.
Moreover, there are other companies that are exploring a similar concept but are using wearable devices to translate instead of a tablet. The Uni technology has a projected release date of summer 2016.
When designed and used effectively, technology can improve communication for people who suffer from hearing loss or deafness. Tech companies are becoming more and more aware of the need for hearing-friendly devices and applications.