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EDUCATION

Hear with Your Eyes

Singapore | 2024 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

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Rapidly advancing technologies can present several challenges for people with hearing impairments, including accessibility issues, limitations in functionality, and information gaps. The hard-of-hearing community, in particular, encounters difficulties in effective communication, resulting in feelings of isolation and frustration.

Communication is a fundamental human need, and for hard-of-hearing individuals, the inability to engage seamlessly with others can have far-reaching consequences. This issue not only affects their personal and professional relationships but also hinders their ability to participate fully in society. Addressing this problem is crucial for fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all individuals, regardless of their hearing capabilities.

Students wearing 'Solve for Tomorrow' T-shirt

Visualizing Spoken Language

Christopher and Michael from Nanyang Technological University have developed an ingenious idea to bridge the communication gap for hard-of-hearing individuals. Their project involves a pair of AR glasses coupled with a mobile app. This two-part idea leverages the power of artificial intelligence to transcribe speech in real-time and convert type-written text into spoken words, facilitating smoother interactions between hard-of-hearing individuals and those around them.

Their journey began with a deep understanding of the struggles faced by the hard-of-hearing community. They combined expertise from various fields, including AI, software development, and user experience design, to create a functional and user-friendly product. The AR glasses capture spoken language and display transcriptions instantly, while the mobile app allows users to input text that the app then vocalizes. This seamless integration of technologies ensures real-time, effective communication, breaking down barriers that have long hindered the hard-of-hearing community.

“Solve for Tomorrow is an excellent proving ground for our team to test and refine our idea. We are excited and humbled to win this competition, and we hope our solution can help enrich the lives of hard-of-hearing individuals. As digital technology plays a vital role in shaping our lives, we will continue to harness its power to create a more inclusive society,” shared Christopher Angelo, Team Leader, Hearable, Nanyang Technological University.

“What impressed me was the students’ competent use of technology – including AR and AI – to tackle a wide range of issues in our society. I’m confident that the technical knowledge and expertise the teams gained from this competition will be invaluable assets for their future, and we hope their success will inspire many of their peers,” said Timothy Low, Chief Operating Officer at Halogen Foundation Singapore and one of the judges of Solve for Tomorrow.

Photo of demonstrating their own AR device

Enriching Lives through Innovation

Christopher and Michael aspire to make a meaningful impact through technology. They are committed to enriching the lives of hard-of-hearing individuals and emphasize the role of digital technology in creating a more inclusive society.

Looking ahead, the students envision a future where their technology is widely adopted, significantly improving the lives of hard-of-hearing individuals globally. Their goal is to scale their idea, making it affordable and available to as many people as possible. Please cheer for their vision of enriching the lives of individuals with hearing loss.

Student in an interview
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