Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now

You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Meet the new Google translator: An AI app that converts sign language into text, speech

The app is expected to hit the Indian market next year.

Oct 26, 2018, 07.40 PM IST
Getty Images
AI App
NEW DELHI: A Netherlands-based start-up has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) powered smartphone app for deaf and mute people, which it says offers a low-cost and superior approach to translating sign language into text and speech in real time.

The easy-to-use innovative digital interpreter dubbed as "Google translator for the deaf and mute" works by placing a smartphone in front of the user while the app translates gestures or sign language into text and speech.

The app, called GnoSys, uses neural networks and computer vision to recognise the video of sign language speaker, and then smart algorithms translate it into speech.

Affordable and always available interpreter services are in huge demand in the deaf community. Every day thousands of local businesses around the globe face problems with providing their services to deaf, said Konstantin Bondar, Co-Founder & CTO of Evalk, the company which developed the app.

According to the National Deaf Association (NAD), 18 million people are estimated to be deaf in India.

Late For Meeting? Hangouts, ezTalks And Other Video-Conferencing Apps To Make Life Simpler

of 6
Play Slideshow

Make Video Conferencing A Cakewalk

16 Oct, 2018
Making video calls while on the move has never been so easy and inexpensive as it is now. You only need to invest in a decent headset before connecting with your peers, colleagues or business partners. Even for corporates and those requiring reliable services, there are tools that make video conferencing an affordable application. Sure, Skype is one of the most popular applications that comes with a lot of momentum and popularity. But it is still lagging in terms of video. Only one-to-one communication is allowed, unless there are some thirdparty plugins. Here are some other video conferencing apps that can make video conferencing a cakewalk:

The app is expected to hit the Indian market next year, Roman Wyhowski Founder & CEO Evalk told PTI.

The new application can find use in a B2B setting, where businesses who want to employ deaf and mute employees can use it to convey employee messages to the end consumer, according to the company.

It will help drive inclusivity at the workplace by removing communication barriers between the disabled and able, Wyhowski said.

"Deaf people do not have that many options for communicating with a hearing person, and all of the alternatives do have major flaws. Interpreters aren't usually available, and also could be expensive," Wyhowski said.

"Pen and paper approach is just a bad idea: it's very uncomfortable, messy, time-consuming for both deaf and hearing person," he said.

Messengers and texting, Wyhowski noted, are slightly better, but they do not solve the problem, which is translation, and do not offer easy confident and comfortable way to communicate.

Travel Buff? Download These Apps Before Your Next Vacay

of 8
Play Slideshow

Stress-Free Travelling

27 Sep, 2018
Take the stress out of planning your trip and explore the world with these mobile applications.

He said the translation softwares in the market are either slow or expensive, or rely on old technology which does not allow scaling to another markets outside country of origin.

"By comparison, we offer a compellingly fast, easy, comfortable and economical solution," Bondar said.

Showcased in the Netherlands recently, the app can be used on multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, or PCs.

It can translate as quick as the person speaks, translate any sign language and can be plugged into many products, such as video chat applications, AI assistants, etc.

The pocket interpreter for the deaf relies on superior new technology: AI and neural networks. All the translation happens in the cloud.

It just requires a camera on the device facing the signing person, and a connection to the internet, said Bondar.

"Using only camera on your device, our system provides the same services only an experienced sign language interpreter could do," he said.

"All the translation is done by algorithms so that means we can differentiate on price as well, offering an inexpensive translation service which is handy and gives a lot of benefits to both deaf people, and businesses and service providers," Wyhowski added.

Security, Messenger, Artwork: Apps For Parents To Stay Connected With Their Kids

of 7
Play Slideshow

Super Apps For Superheroes

15 Jun, 2018
When work takes the jet-setting father halfway around the globe, these applications make sure the little one never feels separated. (Text: Rajarshi Bhattacharjee)

The service allows the user to pay for the day, for the week, or for the whole month costing one, four and 11 US dollars respectively, according to the company.

The cost is USD 150 per month for small businesses, and USD 450 a month for medium and large-sized businesses.

The plan, Wyhowski noted, is to have a free app, which has limited amount of phrases per month/week you can use, just enough to satisfy the basic communication needs of deaf people with low income.

Working in collaboration with India Accelerator, the start-up is in touch with NAD and is gathering sign language data for India, he said.

"We have partnered with them already in order to know better how we can help deaf people in India," Wyhowski said.

"Plus we plan to get in touch with Indian government, in order to know if some of the government spending on deaf people can be used to provide them with digital interpreter service, which can lead to higher employment of the deaf, and social equality," he said.
Want stories like this in your inbox? Sign up for the daily ET Panache newsletter.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Also Read

Starbucks opens first sign language store in US

Gorilla Koko who mastered sign language dies

CBSE moots sign language, Braille as subjects for special kids

MP sign language experts prevent suicide on video call in Rajasthan

Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Popular Categories

Other useful Links

Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service