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With this gadget deaf people can participate in conversations

It is difficult and sometimes impossible for the deaf and hard of hearing to participate in conversations. Background noise can make it even more difficult for hearing-impaired people to understand speakers.

SpeakSee wants deaf and hard-of-hearing people to be able to take part in conversations. This consists of a set of portable microphones and an app that converts speech into written text, on a smartphone or tablet. Meetings, lectures and telephone calls are possible with SpeakSee, for example. It can be a supplement to a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

How SpeakSee works?

The user can download the SpeakSee app. The speakers get microphones. Each microphone has its own color. The speech in each microphone is converted to written text. The text appears on the app that the deaf or hearing impaired person has downloaded on a smartphone or tablet.

The microphones are set so that they pick up the voice of the speaker. The microphones contain sensors that pick up the direction the sound is coming from. This way it can be determined which microphone belongs to which voice. On the screen, each speaker’s text has a different color, similar to the color on the microphone. A maximum of nine microphones can be connected to the app. They last 2 to 4 hours. They can be connected to the telephone, computer, radio, TV, smartphone or conference system. This can really help people who are deaf and hard of hearing. They can simply follow meetings, phone calls, lectures and conversations, making them feel more involved with others.

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