Two new mobile apps help the deaf 'hear'

SINGAPORE - Two mobile applications, which help deaf people "hear" and are aimed at improving safety and convenience, were launched on Tuesday.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the full statement from Grey Group Singapore, the advertising agency that developed the apps in collaboration with the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf):

In collaboration with SADeaf, the agency has developed Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide - two new mobile applications - to bridge communication gap between the hearing and the Deaf community

Singapore, 22 April 2014 - Grey Group Singapore ("Grey") today announced that the agency has developed two innovative mobile applications ("apps") aimed at improving the quality of life of the Deaf community. Developed with inputs and full support from the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf), the proprietary apps transform smart phones into intelligent devices that help the lives of the Deaf and those Hard-of-Hearing easier and safer.

Say it With Signs

Although smart phones are fast becoming ubiquitous devices in the hearing world, the Deaf community has limited use of them as a communications tool, relying more on text messages and over the top (OTT) applications that deliver visual content.

This poses a challenge when there is difficulty for a caller to key in a text message, such as when the caller is driving or if the caller is a pre-school child. Say it With Signs helps address this challenge by processing audio messages during a phone call into digital hand signs displayed on the receiver's mobile phone. The receiver of the call, who is a deaf person, can easily view this sign language on their mobile phones and reply to the caller via a text message.

Hearing Aide

Hearing Aide provides the Deaf community with support during emergencies by processing ambient sounds and transmitting visual and kinetic notifications to the user. Upon recognising a specific audio signature, the app will process this and notify the users of the impending danger via a 20 second vibration and a visual message displayed on the mobile phone screens.

This app is pre-loaded with 5 standard "alarms" or "alert sounds" such as, ambulance, fire brigade, police sirens, fire alarm and smoke detector. Users have the ability to customise the app according to their needs by adding sounds between 90 - 120dB into the databank of alert sounds and renaming labels of the notifications to warning messages they prefer or are familiar with.

SADeaf President, Dr Christopher Low Wong Kein shares, "These applications are breakthroughs for the Deaf community. At SADeaf, we are always on the lookout for innovations that can better the lives of our clients. Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide are certainly two applications that will fast become integral to our clients in their everyday lives. I have no doubt that our clients will be looking forward to have the apps installed on their phones. It was indeed a pleasure working with the highly creative and attentive team at Grey Singapore. We are glad that they have thought of the needs of the Deaf community."