On one hand, technology has made us capable of going to Moon. We are making robots to do our day-to- day work on other hand there are millions of people who can’t even express their emotions with other people.
Deaf and mute can read lips and communicate using sign language. But people can easily listen to and learn other languages, but they don’t try to learn sign language. Every communication Deaf and Mute have with hearing persons is very short. Gradually they make their own world in which a hearing person doesn’t fit Deaf and dumb are not intellectually challenged.
They can study and work like those of normal people. They do not require sympathy. They want technology to help them in expressing themselves, getting proper education and job opportunities. There is a need of an assistive device through which they can communicate with normal people. To fulfil the need of an assistive device for deaf ,I started my journey one and half year before.
We surveyed many deaf and mute persons to know about their needs, experimented with different concepts made several prototypes which finally lead us to α Glove. We are bringing Innovation and affordability together in assistive technologies. We have made our first product “αGlove”. Which is a pair of glove with several touch sensitive spots on fingers and a wrist band with display and speaker. There are three different modes of using αGlove
1.Full Language mode-In this mode every touch sensitive spot corresponds to a unique letter. Whenever a user wants to speak anything he just needs to touch corresponding spots with his thumb and then touch the ‘speak’ spot, word/sentence will be spoken out.
2.Expression mode-In this mode every spot corresponds to a customizable one of the most frequently used word.
3.Listening- Hearing disable person can listen to someone using αGlove. He just needs to press a spot to trigger voice to text conversion and wrist band will convert voice into text which can be seen in its display.
In both speaking mode, whatever user is typing will be shown on the display of wrist band. Also, as Deaf and mute persons are dependent more on visual memory wrist band also displays an image corresponding to typed word. This makes αGlove not only more adoptable for deaf and mute but also it enables αGlove to be used as self-learning tool for deaf and mute According to census 2011, there were around 7 million deaf and mute persons in India and for all over the world this number goes beyond 25+ Millions. αGlove can work with all the languages supported by different text-to- speech engines.
Need of very less training-
It is very easy to remember position of different sensors as sensors are on users body .This and the inclusion of display of wrist band make this device very user friendly as all deaf people remember things using visual memory.
No hindrance in Non-Verbal Communication-
To use this device, user does not need to look towards it. So, non-verbal part of the communication will not be hindered which is very important for mute persons.
Through GloVoice a person can speak a word just by touching the spots on fingers with his thumb which is much faster than typing a word on the keyboard.
As GloVoice is a pair of gloves so it is easily portable as compared to other devices
Ease of Use
User need not to take any special training or learn new skills to use it.
As compared to other device that exist in the market, GloVoice will be very light weight. We are currently improving our product aesthetically and ergonomically after that we will mass product it to make it available for national and international consumers.
Currently there are very few deaf and mute persons who are aware about AAC Devices. Having no aid for communication make them really hopeless with their life. They have accepted their fate and they think that no one can understand their pain and solve it.
They are not as open to use the technology as they should be. Without the awareness about this assistive technology it really hard to get early adopter.
So, for us crowdfunding is not only a source of funds which will help us in bringing the product into the reality but also a platform to make people aware about αGlove The biggest challenge is to reach out to the potential customers and make them aware about our product as this conventional marketing tactics cannot help in this particular market. Proper collaboration with Govt bodies NGOs and other organizations working in this field is needed.