If you’re fluent in American Sign Language, congratulations: you know one more language than most of the people reading this post. The rest of us? A solution to our communicative failures is on the way. A company called MotionSavvy is building a Leap Motion-equipped tablet case that can actively interpret ASL and ‘speak’ the translation out loud. It’s an ambitious project, but it works: at a recent Leap AXLR8R event we saw company founder Ryan Hait-Campbell sign over a MotionSavvy equipped slate. “Hello, my name is Ryan,” he said. “What’s your name?” It was an impressive demo, but Hait-Campbell admitted it was limited.
There are plenty of things to take for granted in this life, and the ability to hear is one that most of the population does. But not the team at MotionSavvy. MotionSavvy, which emerged from the Leap Motion accelerator AXLR8R, is building a tablet case that leverages the power of the Leap Motion controller in order to translate American Sign Language into English and vice versa. The entire 6-person team is deaf. The MotionSavvy case embeds the Leap, and the MotionSavvy software leverages the Leap’s 3D motion recognition, which detects when a person is using ASL and converts it to text or voice. The software also has voice recognition through the tablet’s speakers, which allows a hearing person to respond with voice to the person signing. It then converts their voice into text, which the hearing-impaired receiver can understand.