Google has introduced two new apps for Android which are designed to help people who are either partially or fully unable to hear.
The apps, Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, was inspired by the struggles of Dimitri Kanevsky who is a research scientist at Google who has been deaf since early childhood. Dimitri has been working on speech recognition and accessibility technologies for the last 30 years.
Live Transcribe helps everyday communication
Live Transcribe helps people who are unable to hear by transcribing audio in realtime as the words are spoken. The app currently supports over 70 languages and dialects.
Chet Gnegny, Dmitri’s team-mate was inspired to build the app after seeing him struggle in using one of the the accessibility technologies he was using, CART. Using CART required a lot of preparation and that would mean Dmitri would struggle in everyday conversations.
That prompted Chet to create a tool that could perform automatic speech recognition using Google’s speech recognition technology and display them on the users’ phone.
The conversations aren’t stored on Google’s servers to protect the privacy of the users.
Live Transcribe requires WiFi or cellular network and is free to download for any Android device with Lollipop 5.0 and above.
You can sign up for the Beta program here or if you use Pixel 3 you can turn on Live Transcribe in the accessibility settings.
Sound Amplifier provides audio boost
Sound Amplifier boosts audio periodically especially in situations where there is a lot of background noise.
Sound Amplifier, which was announced at Google I/O last year, makes the audio clearer and easier to hear.
It can be used with wired headphones to filter and amplify the sounds in the environment. The app works by increasing quiet sounds and not boosting loud sounds.
The app is available on Android Smartphone and the noise levels can be customised to suit individual needs which could reduce unwanted sounds and improve the focus of the user.
Sound Amplifier is available on Play Store, and supports Android 9 Pie and comes pre-installed on Pixel 3.