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. The cost of the app is $9.99
Readers interested in related technology for Android devices may want to review a new app put out by Google in 2019, called Live Transcribe. The app gives persons with hearing loss text-to-speech capabilities, providing real-time captions for conversations that scroll on the Android users’ phones.