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Meet the Hand Talk Sign Language Translator App

Blue background. In the center, the illustration of the World Globe with Hugo on the top of it signing "I love you" in ASL and the American flag next to him.

The Sign Language app aims to provide greater accessibility and inclusion to millions of deaf people around the world.

Hand Talk, a digital accessibility startup and one of the winners of the Google AI Impact Challenge of 2019, is pleased to announce that its award-winning free app, known worldwide for translating Portuguese into Brazilian Sign Language, now also translates from English to American Sign Language (ASL). The app has the purpose of making it easier than ever before to bridge the gap between the hearing and the Deaf community. 

The Hand Talk app is a pocket translator that automatically translates oral languages both in text and audio to sign languages, such as English to ASL or Portuguese to Libras (Brazilian Sign Language). Users can also review different signs or even learn their first signs via the app. All of this is done with the help of Hugo, an AI-powered, charismatic 3D avatar.

The app is free and available for smartphones and tablets in Android (Play Store) and iOS (App Store). Users can customize their experience with different functionalities. They can repeat translations, adjust Hugo’s speed, rate and save their favorite translations, generate GIF messages to share with their friends, and access Hugo’s store, where it’s possible to change the avatar’s clothes and design.

In addition to all the technology, behind this innovation is an incredible team of experts in American Sign Language. Using a collaborative system, they record and tag videos of signs and sentences, improving Hugo’s translation and building an increasingly comprehensive vocabulary. These data are the essential input for the artificial intelligence system to perform well and make the app deliver a great translation to sign language as rich and complete as it is done with Libras.

Hand Talk is on a mission to leverage technology to break communication barriers between deaf and hearing people globally since 2012. It officially launched its app in Portuguese/Libras one year later and gained particular attention after it was named the world’s best social app by the United Nations. Since then, the app has attracted over three million users –  and with the launch of the English/ASL version, this number will likely grow exponentially.

According to the World Health Organization, there are around 466 million deaf people around the world, and around 80% of them can’t understand the spoken and written language of their respective countries. Hand Talk aims to bring greater accessibility and inclusion to this community while generating new interactions and exchanges with hearing people, whether at schools, at the workplace, or within families. 

“Since Hand Talk’s inception, we worked towards something that could improve the lives of thousands of people around the world, helping them to break the communication barrier that is still very visible,” says Ronaldo Tenório, the CEO of Hand Talk. “Now, we are taking another step towards the future, helping to make the world more inclusive and Sign Language even more widespread.”

If you are curious and want to know ASL, enter our Hand Talk app

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