Huawei has launched its Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered StorySign app, which helps deaf and hard of hearing kids learn to read using Sign Language. After being announced in December, the app is now live on the Google Play Store for download.
The app bridges the gap between sign language learning and reading using Huawei’s AI. The app has launched today with popular children’s book Where’s Spot available at launch with AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) compatibility – 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 children’s characters Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. StorySign translates the featured book page by page using Huawei AI into perfect sign language.
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.
To mark the Australian launch of Huawei’s StorySign app, Emma ‘Yellow Wiggle’ Watkins has partnered as an ambassador. As a passionate advocate for sign language and well recognised child entertainer, Emma is committed to supporting young children in the deaf community.
This is an initiative that is close to my heart and it’s wonderful to see the power of technology used to make such a positive impact. I have found signing is a powerful way to connect with our young audience, so I’m delighted to be an ambassador of this StorySign app that is helping young deaf children participate in reading and literacy.
For the launch, Huawei has Academy Award winning director Chris Overton to create a film showing the use of StorySign
The app doesn’t require a Huawei device, and can be installed on any Android device running Android 6.0 and higher.
Even if you’re not the target demographic for this app, we’d encourage you to take a look. It’s pretty cool, though we note it’s a bit limited for now with just one book. What it does, though, is showcase the technology behind the scenes – this is something which conceivably could be done on the fly with the right hardware, allowing kids to translate any book into sign.