New Mobile Translation App for People with Hearing Loss

New Mobile Translation App for People with Hearing Loss

July 2011

SpeechTrans has launched SpeechTrans Ultimate for those with hearing loss. The new app enables people with hearing loss to conduct real-time two-way conversations in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian and German and Mandarin Chinese without the need for sign language or an in-person translator.

With SpeechTrans, each person simply speaks out loud into the user’s MOBILE PHONE. SpeechTrans automatically translates the speech into text that can be read on the phone. The product uses software from Nuance, the maker of the Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software.

Type-to-type translations are also available for situations that require quiet, or for those who have trouble speaking because of disability. As it is typically difficult for hearing impaired individuals to determine when someone ends their part of the conversation, the version can automatically detect when a person stops speaking and immediately begin the translation.

The app stores and can play back previous translations, without access to an internet connection. In this version the auto-translate feature can be turned off, allowing same language conversations. Information from other apps can also be cut and pasted into SpeechTrans, so it can be translated and read aloud to another individual.

SpeechTrans Ultimate also features Facebook chat integration, which allows users to type in their native language and have the other party receive translated output on the SpeechTrans enabled iPhone or iPad, or directly as text on their computer.

A SpeechTrans customer from Spain, who described the usefulness of such a product, prompted the development of the hearing loss version. The functionalities of SpeechTrans Ultimate were built based upon direct feedback from users with hearing loss who provided guidance on needed features.

“For hearing-impaired individuals, the Internet becomes such a huge part of their world, and is especially important for communication, said Yan Auerbach, co-founder of SpeechTrans. “With our new hearing impaired version, we are using the power of technology to enable richer in-person conversations across language barriers. Unlike other expensive translation products that only offer text to speech translation, we provide a more organic conversation at a fraction of the cost.”

The app comes with 1,000 pre-loaded transcriptions that never expire, compared to 400 available in the SpeechTrans Ultimate app. Every usage of the app that requires voice recognition counts as one “transcription.” Text-to-text and text-to-speech transcriptions are unlimited. An additional 100 transcriptions are available to users that utilize Facebook’s “Suggest Friends” feature within the app.

SOURCE: SpeechTrans