For deaf people, participating in a group conversation, where there’s constant chatter going on among multiple people, can sometimes be painful. Reading lips, trying to hear with a lot of background noise, and keeping track of who is saying what can get tricky, and in many cases, deaf people may either give up on the conversation or just pretend that they are listening.
Ava, an app for deaf and hard of hearing people, makes it easier for them to follow group conversations and keep track of who is saying what without worrying about reading lips or excessive background noise. The mechanism Ava follows is pretty simple. A deaf person in a group invites everyone to download Ava (one time step). Once everyone has Ava, they all speak into their phone, and Ava’s speech to text feature transcribes everyone’s dialogues and displays them on the deaf person’s phone. Responses can also be sent by the deaf person from their app to contribute to the conversation.
Ava can be used either in a group setting – on the dinner table, in the classroom, in a meeting or in one to one conversations also. In one to one conversations, the deaf person opens the app on their phone and places it in front of the person they are interacting with. The other person speaks into the phone, and Ava transcribes their dialog for the deaf person.
The free version of Ava holds 5 hours of conversations a month. A user can also sign up for the unlimited plan for $29/month. The app is not perfect yet but the company is working on rolling out more improvements soon. They wanted the app to be out before Thanksgiving – a day when a lot of people get involved in group conversations with their families!
Source: Tech Crunch