Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagDan Scarfe

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Close-up of a woman's ear and hand through a torn hole in the paper. Yellow background, copy space. The concept of eavesdropping, espionage, gossip and tabloids.

Now the Deaf Can See the Words They Can’t Hear

Speech-to-text technology via cell phone networks and special glasses allow people with hearing loss to see conversations they cannot hear — displayed as subtitles

Dan Scarfe says he first got the idea for eyeglasses that display subtitles (XRAI Glasses) when he watched his 97-year-old grandfather struggle to understand conversations at Christmas last year. For TV, Grandpa had subtitles. The Toronto-based tech entrepreneur realized that speech-to-text and cell phone technology would let him to subtitle everyday conversations and display them on glasses. Here’s how it works: The deaf woman wearing the glasses is reading the subtitles: The AR glasses are connected to a mobile phone which handles the processing and graphics generation. “What our software effectively does is it takes an audio feed from the microphone on these glasses [and] sends it down to the phone,” said Scarfe. “On the phone we are effectively turning…