Today sign-language has a voice

by Ilaria Lonigro - 2017.07.31
Today sign-language has a voice
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From today on, sign language has a voice. Thanks to Mohamed Elwazer, 28-year old, ambitious Egyptian social-entrepreneur who invented KinTrans, that translates signs into words and vice versa. Like game consoles, the device interprets movement in space thanks to wireless technologies. And total privacy is maintained. There is no need for an interpreter or recording of the conversation. A wi-fi connection and an electrical outlet is all that it takes to be up and running.

With this ingenious idea, Mohamed Elwazer ended up on the cover of Forbes :“the most promising start-up “Made in The United Arab Emirates”. In fact, it is here that with his motto “hands can talk”, he was able to find investors to launch the project, almost entirely by chance, as he explains it: “there were some small children who tried to talk to a policeman in sign-language, but he couldn’t understand what they were trying to say”.

The system already recognizes thousands of American English and Arab signs with 98% accuracy rate and it is already operational in some banks and public offices in the Emirates. “I’d like to see it adopted in airports and train stations” explained Victor Sitali, a painter who is deaf and who tested the new system.

If the current mission of KinTrans, that at the moment is available only for businesses rather than private individuals, is to help the 13 million deaf North Americans in the near future, then, it follows that the next step will certainly be a Smartphone app: “that way, if a person who is deaf has to make a delivery or an urgent telephone call, for an ambulance, for example, he/she can merely sign in front of the cell phone”. Now, that is what I call a real revolution!

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