reading2.jpg
(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

Storytime is an important part of the relationship between parents and their children. In addition, when parents read with their children, the exposure nurtures better reading skills in the child.

Huawei, a global provider of information and communications technology devices, thinks that no child should miss out.

The company launched the StorySign app (Android) to help the 32 million deaf children in the world learn to read. StorySign uses AR and AI to display sign language next to the text as the child reads along.

SEE: Amazon's Echo Show makes Alexa more accessible to the deaf and speech-impaired

In the app, children can hold a smart device over a physical copy of a book available in the program. StorySign's avatar, Star, signs the storybook's text to the child. As she signs, the corresponding word is highlighted.

After she finishes signing, the page will "pause" so the child can read and sign at their own pace.

"We also partnered with the British Deaf Association and with the European Union of the Deaf. We consulted with them every step of the way to make sure we were really focusing on the right problems and that the solution would make a real difference," Andrew Garrihy, Huawei's chief marketing officer said on the website.

Deaf children are at risk of falling behind in literacy since reading is based on spoken language. Since 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents, the barriers only grow.

Not only do deaf children learn sign language, but they must also learn to correspond the sign to a word.

StorySign includes children's books compatible with 10 sign languages:

  • British
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Dutch
  • Portuguese
  • Irish
  • Belgian Flemish
  • Swiss-German

Currently, there's only one book for each language. Children can pick from titles like "Where's Spot?," "Peter Rabbit," "A Peep-Inside Tale", and "Three Little Bunnies." Huawei plans to add more titles, and potentially an iOS app, in the future.

FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.

Takeaways

  1. The StorySign app wants to help deaf children learn to read by using AR and AI to display sign language next to the text as the child reads along.
  2. Deaf children are at risk of falling behind in literacy since reading is based on spoken language. Not only do deaf children learn sign language, but they must also learn to correspond the sign to a word.

Also see

How employees with disabilities can fill tech skills gaps and drive innovation (TechRepublic)

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.