There is a seemingly endless parade of novel audio smartphone-enabled apps, many of them either geared toward audiophiles who want to curate their own individual listening experience, or people with milder hearing loss who want to dabble with amplification. Recently, a new app – one that has the potential to improve the daily living of individuals with severe-profound hearing loss– has been created by Brandon Isobe. Inspired by his father, who is deaf, Isobe’s app allows deaf individuals to communicate with others using real time speech recognition.
Called App MyEar, with a simple pair of earbuds and an iPhone, the app translates verbal speech into written worlds that are displayed in real-time on the iPhone screen.
Estimates vary, but somewhere between 500,000 and 2 million Americans and Canadians use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. Like any language, both the speaker and listener need to be fluent in the language for communication to occur. Even though many Deaf individuals and their families use ASL, it is difficult for Deaf people to communicate with others who are not fluent in ASL.
Translating Voice to Text for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
With App My Ear and a pair of earbuds, verbal communication is instantly translated into text messages for the Deaf person to read.
Mr. Isobe and his father, who is a graduate of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, created the app earlier this year. App My Ear is currently available for iPhone users only at the iTunes store.
Other Popular Speech to Text Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Live Transcribe (Google): A speech-recognition app that transcribes conversations in real time, supporting 70 languages and dialects. It offers adjustable text size, bilingual communication, and privacy-focused data storage.
Roger Voice: Generates real-time subtitles for voice calls, allowing hearing-impaired individuals to receive transcriptions during phone conversations. The app is available for Android and iOS users globally and offers both free and paid options.
TextHear: This speech-to-text app converts conversations to text using speech-recognition software. It supports over 100 languages and accents, offers automatic punctuation, and archives text for future reference. The Android version is free, while the iOS version requires a purchase for extended use.
Ava: Designed for group conversations, Ava transcribes discussions in real time. It works for one-on-one conversations as well when the phone’s microphone is positioned close to the speaker. Ava supports 12 spoken languages and offers free and premium packages with varying benefits.
What Speech to Text App is the Best?
The choice of the best app ultimately depends on individual needs and preferences. Developers face the challenge of achieving accurate transcription across a wide range of languages and accents.
However, regardless of the specific app, the most significant aspect of these speech-to-text apps for the hearing-impaired is the accessibility they provide. These apps empower individuals to participate in conversations and access information in various settings, enhancing their quality of life both at home and in the workplace.