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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing
 
 

What's New in Technology

Mobile Communication

Glide

Glide is a video messenger that allows you to send and receive short video messages that can be seen live (as you're recording) or later (like a text message).

It is good for people who want to communicate with each other using ASL instead of a typed language. One user states "I did install the Glide and love it because we can communicate by sign language to each other. Very cool!!! Good for people who are deaf that can communicate to use sign language".

Glide's Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

To install Glide on your device search the Appstore and the Play Store.

Emerging Technology

Emerging Technology

The Ring, a new device will let people who communicate through sign language to translate their hand movements into spoken words. The Sign Language Ring created by six designers from Asia University won one of the coveted 2013 Red Dot Design Concept Awards, an international competition that received more than 15,500 applications.

The device, which actually incorporates multiple rings and two bracelets, was inspired by Buddhist prayer beads. The rings "read" the hand movements of sign language and the bracelets then transmit or "speak" those words out loud. If another person responds verbally, the device can translate the voice to text that appears on the bracelet.

Users can also pre-record certain movements to customize their device and develop conversational shortcuts, or even slang. But some people in the deaf community have reservations about the device's ability to fully translate sign language.

Rings and Bracelets

Guillaume Chastel, senior lecturer in the American Sign Language Department at the University of Rochester in New York, said that unlike a live interpreter, the device could make mistakes in translating his sign language. Chastel recognizes, however, that a live interpreter is not always available, and that the Sign Language Ring device could help deaf people with such activities as running errands. "We do use gestures or write notes ... [but] writing back and forth takes so long,"said Chastel about communicating while at a store. "If you're doing something basic and you can throw on these bracelets, that would be a good option."

Others worry that the device could miss crucial information conveyed in the face or in the movements of the person signing. Howard Rosenblum, the CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, said in a statement that association officials worried about the accuracy of the device. "American Sign Language encompasses more than what would be measured in the wrist and fingers. ASL relies on wrist movements, handshapes, finger-spelling, body movements and facial expressions," said Rosenblum, who emphasized that he had not seen the device."

The National Association of the Deaf encourages the developers of this emerging technology to work with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and the hearing community, to ensure that their innovative product meets our needs."

Innovative Product

Emergency Preparedness

Raleigh, NC - Governor Pat McCrory and Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry announced the launch of a new mobile application on January 17th, 2014 that will help North Carolinians prepare for everything from minor traffic emergencies to severe storms on a daily basis.

ReadyNC

The app is free and available now in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.

"The ReadyNC mobile application is an all-in-one tool that both residents and visitors can use to get the latest weather, traffic and hazard information and know what to do to be safe," said Governor McCrory. "None of us can predict when the next disaster will occur, but we can minimize the impacts by preparing ahead of time."

Governor McCrory stresses the new mobile app does not replace calling 911. However, it can be used to find life-saving information.

The new app provides users with:

  • real-time traffic and weather information
  • critical information on how to be safe during different hazardous events
  • real-time information about opened shelters for evacuees (including addresses,
  • capacity, directions and if the shelter is pet-friendly)
  • real-time updates on flood levels of major nearby creeks and rivers
  • phone numbers and links to all North Carolina power companies to report outages
  • basic instructions on how to develop emergency plans and what to put in your emergency supplies kit
  • real-time information on which counties have issued evacuation orders
  • contact numbers and links to websites for those who need help recovering from a disaster
  • direct links to the ReadyNC.org and NCDPS.gov websites and social media accounts

"We've seen countless examples across the country and here in our own state that remind us that those who are prepared ahead of time fare better during disasters," said Secretary Perry. "This simple app will help each family do just that."

Mobile Application

The mobile application was developed by N.C. Emergency Management using Citizen Corps funds that are designated to foster emergency preparedness. More information can be found here.

 

 

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