It’s easy to take things for granted. Many of us have been doing it all our lives. Normally, when we think of taking things for granted, it’s not calling our parents enough or wasting food or water. But most of us, without even knowing, take how easy learning to read was. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing certainly don’t take this for granted because hearing impairments make learning to read extremely difficult.
Late last year, Huawei released StorySign, an app which uses AI to help children with hearing impairments read their favourite books. By holding the phone over the page, a computer-generated character called Star. Star is animated by the same people who brought you Wallace and Gromit. She signs the words on the page, helping children through the process of learning to read.
Today at Dublin Zoom, Huawei announced the latest installment of StorySign books.
The Latest StorySign Books
Purely as a tech reviewer, the StorySign project contains many stories. On a small level, for people left wondering if Huawei will stay in Europe or not, Huawei reaffirming their commitment to supporting communities around Europe is a massive positive. But let’s not kid ourselves here. The best thing about this is the fact technology is helping to improve lives.
According to John Sherwin, CEO with the Irish Deaf Society, “Education tools that enhance the use of Irish Sign Language at home are vital when tackling early development of language, cognition and literacy. The Irish Deaf Society are proud to support Huawei with its long-term vision to help open the world of books to deaf children through StorySign. The expansion of the StorySign library, a new language and wider availability mark an important step towards helping Deaf children enjoy storytime.”
StorySign Now Available For iPhone Too
StorySign has been downloaded over 40,000 times since its launch last year and today, Huawei announced the StorySign app is also available for iPhone. Walter Ji, President of Huawei’s Western Europe Consumer Business Group, believes the Chinese manufacturer should “use our technology to make the world a better place – no matter where you live or what smartphone you use – whether it’s Android or iOS”.
At an event in Dublin Zoo on Sunday, Huawei announced four new books compatible with the StorySign app. Meaning there’s more content available to more people who need the app than ever before. At the event, families were treated to special performances by the Cabra Deaf Choir. The children from the choir who attend the Holy Family School for the Deaf in Cabra, Dublin have benefited from the StorySign app and experienced first-hand the unique experience it affords them to enjoy storytime.
Also premiered at the event was a short film directed by Oscar-winning director Chis Overton. The short film shows how StorySign helped a local Dublin family with two deaf children, Bobby and Sophia.
Want to read more about what’s in the pipeline from Huawei? Here are our first impressions from a quick hands-on with the Mate 30 Pro launch recently.