Huawei launches AI-powered StorySign app so deaf children can enjoy story time
Huawei has launched an AI powered app called StorySign which can enrich storytelling for deaf and hard of hearing children and their parents.
There are more than 32 million deaf children globally and between 250 and 400 deaf children born in Australia each year.
With the help of StorySign and the power of Huawei AI, the app can translate the featured book through the smartphone’s camera into sign language page by page and still deliver a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
It will be available in Australia from February 2019 and will include the popular children’s book Where’s Spot at launch.
“At Huawei, we believe in the power of AI and that technology can make a positive difference in the world” says Lisa Connors, Huawei Australia Corporate Responsibility Manager.
“We created StorySign to help make it possible for families with deaf children to enjoy the truly magical moments of story time
“Created with experts and charities from the deaf community, StorySign was developed to ensure its use as a genuinely useful tool for families with deaf and hearing-impaired children.”
Huawei Australia into the partnership with local charity organisation Deaf Australia and it is through this partnership that StorySign was developed to help families with deaf and hearing-impaired children.
“Deaf children don’t learn to read in the same way as hearing children,” says Kyle Miers, CEO of Deaf Australia.
“Many struggle to learn how to read because they can’t match words with sounds.
“The deaf community is in need of accessible content to address children’s literacy development needs and digital tools like StorySign is addressing this necessity.
“For this reason, we are privileged to be working with Huawei on the StorySign project and how, through the use of AI and innovative technology, it could enrich the lives of Australian deaf children and their families in a meaningful way.”
There is no written form of signing so there is no direct English word for word translation that poses a huge challenge for deaf children when they are learning to read.
The StorySign app uses Huawei AI which includes powerful image recognition and optical character recognition even when the child or parent positions the phone at an angle from the book.
The AI can optimise the speed at which pages from the book are loaded in the app which means children are waiting to find out what happens next in the story.
StorySign launches in Australia with a film by Academy award-winning director Chris Overton and stars seven-year-old Maisie Sly who both worked on Oscar-winning short The Silent Child.
In the film, the young girl is struggling to read with her father and later that night she sneaks downstairs to peek at her presents only to find Santa who hands her a book as a gift.
When Santa realises the young girl is deaf, he begins to sign the book for her.
StorySign can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and the Huawei App Gallery. It will be available in Australia from February 2019.