This web application uses computer vision to teach you the ASL alphabet


When it comes to learning the American Sign Language alphabet, there are various resources. You can turn to educational books and videos – even Giphy can offer help. You can now add a tool called Fingerspelling.xyz to this list.

It comes courtesy of the creative studio Hello monday and the American Society for Deaf Children. They’ve created a web experience that you can access on your computer that takes advantage of machine learning and computer vision software to make the process fun and easy. Think of it as having a free ASL teacher.

You’ll need a webcam – but don’t worry. Both say the software will process everything locally and not send or store any data from your camera. Once you get started, the app will teach you how to spell ASL words, showing you the correct way to position your fingers along the way. And as you write each letter with your hand, you’ll see a percentage to give you an idea of ​​what you’re doing.

As for the reasons behind the project, it ultimately comes down to creating better outcomes for deaf people. About two to three babies in 1,000 born in the United States are deaf or hard of hearing. In most cases, these are children of hearing parents and the first deaf person these adults have met. When you don’t introduce deaf and hard of hearing people to sign language at an early stage in their life, chances are their overall language skills will suffer. In turn, this is something that can lead to difficulty later in life. When parents go out of their way to learn and teach sign language to their deaf or hard of hearing child, they are making a life-changing decision for the better.

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