Google Glass software

Providing captions for users with hearing issues.

A team of Georgia Institute of Technology researchers has created speech-to-text software for Google Glass that helps hard-of-hearing users with everyday conversations. A hard-of-hearing person wears Glass while a second person speaks directly into a smartphone. The speech is converted to text, sent to Glass and displayed on its heads-up display (see a video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5eXmShC3WE&list=UUFkaWOGpyFBVRf5jEeD_wrA).

A group in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing created the Glassware when one of its own said he was having trouble hearing and thought Glass could help him.

“This system allows wearers like me to focus on the speaker’s lips and facial gestures, “said School of Interactive Computing Professor Jim Foley. “If hard-of-hearing people understand the speech, the conversation can continue immediately without waiting for the caption. However, if I miss a word, I can glance at the transcription, get the word or two I need and get back into the conversation.”

Foley’s colleague, Professor Thad Starner, leads the Contextual Computing Group working on the project. He says using a smartphone with Glass has several benefits as compared to using Glass by itself.

“Glass has its own microphone, but it’s designed for the wearer,” said Starner, who is also a technical lead for Glass. “The mobile phone puts a microphone directly next to the speaker’s mouth, reducing background noise and helping to eliminate errors.”

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