Gerald Isobe and his son, Brandon Isobe, recently developed an app to help deaf individuals locate “real-time interpreters” on-demand, according to an article on Apple’s App Store website.
According to the article, Gerald, who was born deaf, often struggled to understand his colleagues at his job at the Hawaii Department of Defense, many of whom did not know American Sign Language. Interpreters weren’t always readily available to translate and lip-reading was only partially effective. To help combat this problem, Gerald—the first deaf person to graduate from New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)—Brandon, and a CalTech student, Andres Gutierrez, initially developed the “App MyEar,” which transcribes speech to text using an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

“It’s not interpretation or translating; it’s real language, directly with other people,” Gerald was quoted in the article as saying. “With an interpreter, there is a delay, which can leave a deaf person out. There can be confusion or misunderstandings.”

However, App MyEar was most effective for one-on-one conversation, as it was unable to indicate who was saying what in a group setting. So, the trio created App MyGroup, a “ride sharing for sign-language interpreters,” which allows the user to specify the occasion and social setting they are seeking an interpreter for. When an interpreter becomes available, the user will be connected via video call.

To read more and preview the apps, please click here.

Source: Apple Store

Image: © Filip Uhlir |