Digital Trends reports that Abhishek Singh, known for building Super Mario Bros in augmented reality, has developed a Web application that allows deaf users to communicate with Amazon Echo devices. With this system, the user signs in front of a camera, and then a trained artificial intelligence system translates into spoken language for the Echo. When the Echo replies, the AI translates it to text for the user to read.
“The project was a thought experiment inspired by observing a trend among companies of pushing voice-based assistants as a way to create instant, seamless interactions,” Singh told Fast Company. “If these devices are to become a central way we interact with our homes or perform tasks, then some thought needs to be given to those who cannot hear or speak. Seamless design needs to be inclusive in nature.”