Can Your Phone Do This?
Approximately 466 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss, (WHO) Most of which will attempt to go about their daily lives without the use of any help or aid. Following the actions of research scientist Dimitri Kanevsky and his teammate Chet Gengy, Google has introduced a new goal; to help hundreds of millions of deaf people to communicate more clearly.
Google have recently introduced a new app available for Android, it has been created with the intention of aiding those such as Dimitri who struggle due to being hard of hearing. Along with speech recognition and communication teammate Chet Gnegy and multiple ‘Googlers’ from an array of Accessibility Teams, the following question was posed;
What if we used cloud based automatic speech recognition to display spoken words on a screen?
And that’s exactly what they did. Introducing, Live Transcribe.
Live Transcribe is the minimalist alternative to a CART system, it doesn’t require any additional devices or intense preparation work to use. The app takes real world speech and turns it into live captions using only the phone’s microphone. It is available in over 70 languages and dialects and will come pre-installed and ready to use on the Pixel 3. The app also comes with a type back keyboard to allow a response for those that can’t speak or do not want to speak at that time.
Live Transcribe will gradually be rolled out onto the play store in limited beta but you can sign up for a notification from Google here when the app is available worldwide. Google hopes that the introduction of this app will give those hard of hearing a greater sense of independence in their everyday actions.
That's Not All ...
As announced at Google I/O in 2018, the Sound Amplifier app is here.
The Sound Amplifier is used on your Android smartphone alongside your wired headphones in order to make sense of the noise around you. Using simple sliders and toggles you can filter, augment and amplify sounds within your environment. Sound enhancement and noise reduction can be applied, increasing quiet sounds around you without boosting the already loud ones.
Much like Live Transcribe, Sound Amplifier will come pre-installed onto the Pixel 3 but is already available on the Google Play Store and supports Android Pie 9 or later.
Companies such as Google are often introducing new ways in which everyone can benefit and have access to improving technology.
Where will they go next?