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AI glasses are now transcribing speech, helping people with hearing impairment see real-life subtitles

The device receives Bluetooth messages from the captioning device and converts them into augmented reality projections within the glasses.

AI glasses are now transcribing speech, helping people with hearing impairment see real-life subtitles
Cover Image Source: transcribeglass.com

People with hearing loss or impairment communicate in different ways, including sign language, lip reading, hearing aids and so on. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can be very expensive and not easy to acquire. Meanwhile, signing and lip reading necessitates keeping your gaze fixed on the speaker. In one of those moments where Artificial Intelligence does cater to making human life easier TranscribeGlass is the "comfortable wearable assistive technology device for d/Deaf, Hard of Hearing, elderly, and other people who want to improve their comprehension of spoken communication using captions." Madhav Lavakare, Yale '25 and co-founder Tom Pritsky, M.S. '23 created the device that is basically an affordable augmented reality device that attaches to your glasses and, when paired with your preferred transcription software, projects real-time captions in front of your eyes, according to The Stanford Daily.


 
 
 
 
 
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When their high school friend dropped out due to communication difficulties, they were inspired to look into new ways to communicate. "It's 2017. Why isn't there something that can help my friend participate in conversations in a mainstream setting?" Lavakare recalled thinking to himself. Evidently, there was a technological gap that expensive solutions like hearing aids and implants, which are not effective for everyone, could not fill. Lavakare began producing prototypes and eventually secured testers from India's National Association of the Deaf and other deaf communities. He discovered that a teenager seeking investors in augmented reality (AR) faced numerous obstacles. However, in 2020, he received funding from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and the governments of India and the United States. Pritsky, Stanford M.S. '23 joined the team as a co-founder in 2021, bringing a hearing loss perspective to the table.


 
 
 
 
 
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Pritsky, also the Founder of Stanford's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club, has had bilateral hearing loss since the age of three and communicates using hearing aids and lip reading. He's long fantasized about a heads-up captioning device. "I really like captions for movies," Pritsky told the school paper. "I thought it would be fantastic to have them for real life." The product acts as a bridge between low-cost speech-to-text converters like Otter.ai and Google's Live Transcribe and a simple pair of glasses. The device receives Bluetooth messages from the captioning device and converts them into augmented reality (AR) projections within the glasses. The user can adjust the text size to fit the scene. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use this technology to look wherever they want while still communicating.



 

 

It can also help in situations where even hearing aids baffle, such as crowded places. The TranscribeGlass beta version costs $55, and the final price will most likely be $95, as reported by My Modern Met. Over 300 people tested the product during its development, which is critical for a community-serving product. When Cathy Haas, a lecturer at the Stanford Language Center who teaches American Sign Language (ASL), ran into Pritsky at Stanford's Coffee House, she got the chance to test the device. She sees many situations where the device could be useful for a Deaf person. "I was a little bit skeptical at first, but then I put it on and I fell in love with it. In a medical situation, I've had huge problems. Sometimes they'll call my name, and I won't hear anything, obviously. If I had this device, I'd be able to respond immediately," Haas said in an interview conducted in American Sign Language with an interpreter present. 



 

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