Developed for the hearing impaired, MotionSavvy utilizes the technology behind LEAP Motion to provide real-time translation of a user’s sign language into digital text or digital voice.
Founders Ryan Hait-Campbell, Wade Kellard, Jordan Stemper and Alex Opalka are deaf, so they truly understand the benefit to having a sign-to-text translator for everyday use. The team met while attending the deaf-education branch of Rochester Institute of Technology, when MotionSavvy won 3rd place in ZVRS‘s product competition based on its initial prototype.
Since then, the team, which now comprises of six deaf individuals, has been developing MotionSavvy in LEAP Motion’s Axlr8r incubator program.
About 90 percent of the deaf population was born into hearing families, who don’t know anything about how to raise a deaf child. I am one of those – my parents did their best and provided me with all the tools I needed. But in a lot of cases, parents and children have trouble communicating, and this can lead to tremendous problems.
Not just that – once they try to enter the workforce, deaf people still face problems communicating with their peers. This creates just another barrier for them in terms of personal and career growth. We’re trying to solve all of that by providing a device that can allow them to freely communicate, whenever they want, in their native language.
The whole MotionSavvy package, a Windows Tablet with LEAP Motion, will cost $600 with $20 additional per month for software subscription. It’s competitive with translation services, but will allow users to use their own device whenever they need. MotionSavvy is currently capable of understanding about 100 words, but there are currently 800 beta testers signed up to use the program, which will increase its word-recognition ability. More beta testers are being accepted.