Huawei recently launched an app that could benefit deaf children greatly by teaching them how to read. The app called StorySign uses an AI to help the deaf or hard of hearing kids learn to read by translating the texts into sign language.
Huawei partnered with British Deaf Association and European Union of the Deaf to seek consultation and ensure that they can bring a practical solution to the deaf children. Children or parents will have to access the app and select a book from the StorySign library, and as they use the smartphone’s camera, the camera scans the text on the page of the book and translate the words into sign language so that the deaf children can interpret accordingly. That being said, the family will be required to have the physical book of the selected title or else the translation by the app will not work.
The avatar in the app is designed by Aarman Animations with the goal to make sure that the avatar resonates with the children hence the character Star was created and was made to feel like an older sibling that can help children to read their story books. Joe Marriot, the Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House to offer a classic book on the app wherever it launches. For now, there is one classic book for each sign language, and there are 10 sign languages available in the app including French, German, English, Italian, Spanish and more.
While now it’s just the one English classic book called Where’s Spots by Eric Hill, soon there will be more and more additions which be greatly lessen the gap between the deaf and non-deaf children. It could be a great achievement since it could help young children grasp the knowledge they need and wasn’t exposed to due to their hearing impairment.
The StorySign app is available for Android devices that runs on Android 6.0 and above and it is available in Google Play Store for free.