New App Translates Speech into Text for Deaf Individuals

speech text app deaf hard of hearing
December 18, 2017

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

app myear

App My Ear now available on iTunes

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.

    1. Hi Beverly – Apple earbuds are recommended because they have a microphone attached to the device that is created specifically to sift through background noise. It tends to improve the transcription quality. If you have any questions, please send me an email: [email protected]

    1. Hi C – thanks for purchasing the app! What challenges are you facing when using the app? You do need to be connected to WiFI, LTE, 3G data for the app to work. Please send me an email at [email protected] so we can troubleshoot

    1. Hi Kerry – Apple earbuds are recommended because it has a microphone attached to it and the microphone improves the dictation quality – the headphones are designed to sift through the background noise. If you have any follow up questions, please send me an email at [email protected] or visit our Facebook page for more tips/tricks on using the app.

  1. Hi
    I have a daughter with auditory processing difficulties (people speak too quickly for her brain to process the speech) and so am looking for an app that can turn her phone conversations into speech in real time ( a bit like using sub titles on movies – it helps with speech recognition). Just wondering if your app can do this ( or ifyou can suggest one that does) and also do you have android version?

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