CES Video: Krown Sign Language Translator

One of the first thing we actually put our hands on at CES this year was a prototype sign language translation device from Krown Manufacturing called..."The Sign Language Translator". It's essentially just a dictionary that links to videos of man signing words and letters on screen. Basic in execution, perhaps, but also potentially quite handy for teaching yourself how to sign. (I have a couple of deaf friends who can read lips or, you know, words written on paper or typed into a Sidekick.) Still: neat. Here's a direct MP4 download if you'd prefer that version.
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7 Responses to CES Video: Krown Sign Language Translator

  1. LyhjeHylje says:

    So it does not translate signs to text or speech? That might have been useful; put your phone on table camera facing the deaf person and have (almost) normal conversation.

  2. Brian Boyko says:

    And… if you’re taking the trouble to type in the words to begin with, why wouldn’t you just SHOW THE DEAF PERSON THE WORDS YOU TYPED AND LET HIM READ IT?

    A sign language translator would only be useful if it went the other way.

  3. skrap says:

    LOL – if you look at the spelling of BOING, it goes:
    “B” “O” “me” “N” “G”.

    Guys, personal pronoun ≠ The letter i.

  4. ridl says:

    it would make a decent iPhone app, though

  5. standingstill says:

    Working in the deaf community for the last ten years or so, I don’t see where or how this device would come in handy. It doesn’t look like it was designed by someone with a whole lot of practical knowledge about the deaf and they’re modes and means of communication. I could be totally wrong about that, but that’s what it looks like. So, practically, where would this be efficient? Not as an on the spot translating tool. The deaf could just write it down (even with low language skills) if they were not able to communicate it through basic body language. Deaf people grow up in a hearing world, and as such have a whole range of everyday adaptive skills to get across what they’re trying to say (to someone who doesn’t sign). So what about as a means of learning sign language? Oh god, I couldn’t imagine a more frustrating or least effective method to learn that language. If you’re not learning sign with deaf friends or in a classroom with a (preferably) deaf instructor…then you’re not really learning the language. You’d just be learning the signs..and that’s not the same thing at all.

  6. mcr2582 says:

    I can’t believe they spent the money to exhibit this at CES. It is laughable how little research they did in terms of what would make this useful.

    There have long been projects in the works to merge video clips into phrasing _with_ proper facial grammar. I saw this one (http://www.ntid.rit.edu/dig/) while it was still in development nearly 10 years ago when I was attending a university that was home to a college for the deaf, and I spent several years developing conversational ASL skills. I’m sure much more is possible with today’s technology.

    Back then, two way pagers were rapidly becoming commonplace, and I’m sure adoption of text messaging is near universal today. Deaf people still face challenges that most of us do not, but one-on-one communication is one they can overcome most easily by existing means.

  7. standingstill says:

    Sorry, I just had to post again…what a dumb product! Bad idea, bad execution, mediocre design. And for a device that does so little, costing so much, with such a limited consumer base (the hearing who don’t want to bother to learn the language)…where can they possibly go right?

    The last part was the best though, when he said “There are some parts that show emotion, but we try to steer clear of the emotion and just show you the signs.” Has this guy or the people who developed it EVER used sign language or had a deaf friend? Most of the semantic meaning in sign language is carried on the body in emotion, facial expressions, and body language. If you leave that out, its like only using a fraction of the bandwidth needed to communicate something.

    At least my deaf friends will have a good laugh when I forward it to them.

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