Being deaf or hard of hearing can present unique problems to kids, parents and educators. To make it a little easier, Huawei have announced that their Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered StorySign app, which helps these children to read using Sign Language, will launch in Australia in February 2019.
The app bridges the gap between sign language learning and reading using Huawei’s AI. The app will launch in Australia in February 2019 with popular children’s book, Where’s Spot available at launch with AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) compatability – though Huawei says there will be more books available soon.
StorySign features ‘Star’ as the host, an avatar created by Aardman animations, the creators of popular childrens characters Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. StorySign translates the featured book page by page using Huawei AI into perfect sign language/reading Rosetta Stone.
The StorySign launch in Australia is being supported by Deaf Australia, with Huawei encouraging support and donations to the organisation to help support those affected. Kyle Miers, CEO of Deaf Australia said of the launch
Deaf children don’t learn to read in the same way as hearing children. Many struggle to learn how to read because they can’t match words with sounds. The deaf community is in need of accessible content to address children’s literacy development needs and digital tools like StorySign is addressing this necessity. For this reason, we are privileged to be working with Huawei on the StorySign project and how, through the use of AI and innovative technology, it could enrich the lives of Australian deaf children and their families in a meaningful way.
For the launch, Huawei has Academy Award winning director Chris Overton to create a film showing the use of StorySign
The app doesn’t appear to require a Huawei device, instead they speak about being available on Android with the Google Play description requiring simply Android
6.0 and up.
It’s not available in Australia as yet, but when it launches in February it will be available for free to download from Google Play.