Young people invent sign language learning app for family, friends of people with hearing loss


Along with easy-to-follow lessons, the app also features a 3D avatar that shows signature moves from different angles to help the user learn.

The team also uses an artificial intelligence recognition feature that can detect if a user is signing correctly.

To refine their product, they sought feedback from the Singapore Association of the Deaf as well as a group of volunteers from the NTU Welfare Services Club. which regularly organizes support initiatives for the deaf community.

“We’ve received positive feedback on our approach of focusing our lessons on simple everyday conversations because the lessons are simple enough for beginners to learn and the content is relevant to everyday interactions,” Rachman said, adding that it made the learning process more accessible.

The team does not yet have a timeline on when the app will be available to the public.


Another innovation from a youngster to help people with disabilities is now on the market, four years after the design was chosen as Singapore’s national winner of the 2018 James Dyson Prize.

Designer Kevin Chiam’s Folks cookware went on sale in March through collectibles retailer Mighty Jaxx, with proceeds channeled to Guide Dogs Singapore, a non-profit organization that helps people with sight loss

Like the NTU trio, Mr. Chiam, 30, was also looking for a meaningful way to complete his undergraduate course at the National University of Singapore.

The inspiration came when he saw how a visually impaired chef, Christine Ha, was crowned champion of the popular cooking competition, MasterChef.

He discovered that MasterChef Ha’s speed in the kitchen was achieved through long and rigorous practice, which can be demoralizing at first.

He said it “sowed the seeds of the concept” of helping someone with a visual impairment to work more safely in the kitchen.

Mr. Chiam got input from people with vision loss to make sure the potential solutions really worked for them and weren’t just based on his assumptions.

That’s how he realized that one of his original ideas of having a motorized blade to “get users away from the knife as much as possible” wasn’t feasible, because it didn’t offer the control and flexibility that a user needed.

He went through 50 or 60 different designs in about three months before he got to a viable iteration of the products.

The current collection of Folks cookware consists of two items. The first is a knife with a retractable blade guard that guides the user’s fingers and prevents them from accidentally being cut.

The set also includes a cutting board with a modular tray layout that makes it easy to transfer ingredients without spillage.


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