Google Offers New Apps to Help the Deaf Community
The mobile apps are aimed at the 466 million people who are hearing impaired
Google's newest apps won’t gin up snappy replies to your emails or attempt to organize your mess of photos. What they will do is provide much more critical services to a community of users who may need them the most.
Two new mobile apps being rolled out today, Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, are aimed at the 466 million people—more than 5 percent of the world’s population—who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Live Transcribe app uses Google’s cloud-based, speech-to-text intelligence to offer text representations of spoken conversations as they’re happening, while Sound Amplifier relies on an Android-based dynamic audio processing effect to make speech and other sounds easier to hear.
During a demonstration with the press last month, a group of Google product managers showed how their presentations could be transcribed into text in near real time by Live Transcribe. In another corner of the room, Google had engineered a hearing loss simulator as part of the demo of Sound Amplifier. Slip on a set of headphones, and a Google employee cranked the simulator to reduce your hearing abilities. By using the new app, testers could swipe on a series of sliders to adjust volume, ambient noise, voice clarity, and the distribution of sound to left and right ears.
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