Live caption glasses let deaf people ‘see conversations’

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Smart glasses are giving deaf people a head-up display of live, real-time subtitles, as they chat, right in front of their eyes.

Live caption glasses let deaf people 'see conversations'

The technology uses off-the-shelf augmented reality ‘AR’ glasses that are tethered to a smartphones with an app that turns any speech picked into text displayed on the inside of the lenses.

“Powerful. It’s powerful. I can’t under state the power and the importance for people who are hard of hearing all over the world to feel that they don’t have to solely rely on lip reading anymore. It’s a really big moment,” Josh Feldman, a profoundly deaf 23 year old management consultant, told Reuters.

The software, called XRAI Glass, was inspired by Dan Scarfe’s observation of his grandfather’s increasing isolation as his lost his hearing.

“There was just a little epiphany moment where I thought, well, hang on a second, he watches TV all the time with subtitles on. Why can’t we subtitle the world?,” Scarfe told Reuters.

The software is still being developed but Scarfe says it can already recognise who’s speaking and will soon have the power to translate languages, voice tones, accents and pitch.

“I’m getting a real-time stream of subtitled information where ordinarily I might be behind. I might not quite catch everything, but this is giving me a real-time narrative which enables me to be informed. It enables me to be involved, enables me to make decisions because I know what is being said,” said Steve Crump, founder of DeafKidz International.

XRAI Glass are now recruiting alpha testers who either can’t lip-read or struggle to pick up multiple conversations taking place at once, to help perfect the software.

Published : August 01, 2022

By : Reuters

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