SignAll teams up with Gallaudet University to pioneer sign language translation

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Hungarian start-up SignAll has linked with Gallaudet University, a federally chartered private university for the education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing located in Washington, D.C., in order to pioneer a software system that will translate American Sign Language (ASL) into written English.

The SignAll team is made up of 15 experienced researchers who have been working to close the gap between the deaf and hearing community. The team recently released a translation prototype which uses computer vision and a system known as natural language processing to translate ASL into English. By using three web cameras and one depth sensor, the software tracks the movements of an ASL signer before relaying the information to a computer. In real-time, the ASL is translated into full, grammatically correct English sentences which are displayed on a PC screen. 

“This is a unique opportunity to examine sign language in context and the cooperation is key to successfully delivering the best possible translation software. We aim to have a pilot version of SignAll available within one year,” said CEO Zsolt Robotka.

By teaming up with Gallaudet University, which describes itself as “the world’s only university designed to be barrier-free for deaf and hard-of-hearing students,” SignAll is receiving expert information on ASL, computer language processing and translation from the school’s Technology Access Program. Students of the university have also been assisting by acting as models for data collecting and software testing.

“With the help of the partnership, SignAll can achieve its goal to provide barrier-free accessibility for the deaf in their everyday lives through its automatic sign language translator – first in the U.S., then worldwide,” said Dita Jenei of SignAll.

You can learn more about the translation software at SignAll’s website here

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