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An App that lets you converse with the deaf, no sign language necessary


Transcense is a new app that accurately translates conversations in real time so the deaf and hard of hearing can participate in meetings, presentations and conversations. To put that another way: this app wants to provide real-time subtitles/captions where the captions are showing words from any number of people in a group.

Founders Thibault Duchemin, Pieter Doevendans and Skinner Cheng say one-on-one conversations are easy for the deaf. Either they are speaking with someone who can sign or they can just read lips. However, it’s very hard to follow group conversations with several people speaking at once. This makes it hard to catch things and converse during group meals with friends who don’t sign or at an office meeting where they might miss something important. This app is personal for two of the three founders. Cheng has been deaf since he was two and Duchemin is a coda, meaning he grew up with deaf family members.

The App works by catching conversations from the voices of different individuals and assigning them a color bubble so the deaf person knows who said what. It works with a distributed microphone system on all the devices using the app so that it can distinguish each person from another. It then translates those words and starts jotting them down in real time on the app. The deaf and hard of hearing can then read what is going on as it happens. But why tell you when we can show you this demo of how the app works:

Read the original article in full on TechCrunch. There’s also a conversation about the app, it’s use and it’s technical aspects on Hacker News.