To celebrate the International Week of the Deaf, I created Snapchat Custom stickers and three AR lenses to encourage users to spell finger, the company said.
The new features are designed by incorporating feedback and guidance from the company’s deaf and hard of hearing employees, and using artificial intelligence and computer vision technology developed by Hungarian startup SignAll, which focuses on technology for the deaf.
SignAll has developed technology that can be used to track hand movements to translate sign language into spoken language, and the company launched the Ace ASL mobile app for iOS in April, and for Android earlier this month, according to The Verege.
The new Snap features were also powered internally by Snap Lab software engineer, Jennica Pounds, who is deaf.
Pounds said her eldest son had difficulty learning American Sign Language, which was a big motivation for her to work on the new tools. “I’m excited about this technology because I really believe it will open up a lot of applications,” she said in a press release. “It’s technology like this that will help families like mine connect and grow together.”
AR Lenses will help Snap users learn to spell their names with their fingers, along with common words like ‘love’, ‘hug’ and ‘smile’, they can capture and share experiences with other users in the chat, and there’s also a new set of Bitmoji stickers featuring some Common terms.