Ever wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL) but couldn’t make heads or tails of written instructions? Well, now you can use your webcam, a website, and some AI to teach yourself the ASL alphabet from the comfort of your home.
Creative studio Hello Monday teamed up with the American Society for Deaf Children to create the tool, which uses machine learning and computer vision software to create an online instructor that shows you your hand position in real-time, so you know you’re fingerspelling correctly.
It can do this because of the recent advancements in AI, and all you need is to open the website on any computer that has a webcam installed on it.
All of the processing is done locally, so you don’t have to worry about your camera feed being sent across the internet. The tech behind it analyzes your hand position as you fingerspell, and gives you feedback on your positioning so that you build up the muscle memory needed to fingerspell without a guide. You also get a score out of 100 to let you know how you’re getting on.
With at least two children out of every 1,000 born in the US with some level of hearing impairment, this tool will help create better outcomes for those children. Often they’re the first deaf person that their parents has met, so these kinds of tools are invaluable for language development at an early stage.
We started doing baby signing with our little one even though she has perfect hearing, as it’s helped with her ability to communicate with us. This tool is going to be used in our household to further that learning journey, as we all learn another language together.
Unfortunately, it’s not available for mobile devices yet, but maybe that will change in the future. If you are interested in learning more, make sure to check out the website here.
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