September 1, 2010

Speech to Text Glasses for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Being Developed

Speech to text glasses let the deaf read what you're saying
(image from

Babel Fisk are developing these glasses that will turn spoken words into text. The text will appear on the lens. You would literally be reading before your eyes what is being said to you.

It is a cool concept. However, it will not be for everyone. I don't know many people, including myself, that would find words appearing before their eyes as they converse with someone pleasant. It could be rather annoying. It will certainly be troubling for those who have problems with reading.

Some bloggers writing about this device said that with these glasses, there would be no more need for sign language. Yeah, right. These bloggers obviously have no clue what they are talking about. Sign language is so much more effective. I would rather have sign language to communicate with others than a pair of glasses. These gadgets can never replace a language.

I would rather have a small device in my hands that would translate everything that is being said into text. I believe that this is already in the works as well. With all the other cool gadgets already on the market and being developed as I type this, the glasses seem almost unnecessary at the moment.

I wonder how much they will cost? Who would actually buy them?

What do you think?



  1. If they worked OK I'd use them and yes, I would cease using sign language and get back to the hearing world I can't access at present, I suppose this applies to acquired, more than born deaf though.

  2. my boyfriend is deaf and he refuses to learn sign language. He doesnt wear hearing aids (due to cost) and can hear some as long as he is focused soley on the person talking. so when friends come over we use our phones to txt out what we are saying and we call in "captions for the hearing impaired during conversation". I may not like the glasses idea, but a hand held devise would be AMAZING!

  3. But rather OBVIOUS, and requires a lot of cooperation, glasses are less so... We read about iphones and instant signing too, but these are gizmos more than practical, unobtrusive access is more 'natural'.

  4. I remember back in the mid-1970's Orin Cornett was trying to develop eyeglasses with Cued Speech symbols projected onto the lenses... Cornett was the "inventor" of Cued Speech.

    The eyeglasses and Cued Speech both enjoyed a well-deserved rejection, except from a few Hearing educators who continue to screw up the lives of Deaf children..

  5. Sounds like it would be helpful at the movies.

  6. abc-

    Cued Speech or Cued English has been a tremendous help for many people I know, including myself. I am not a cuer, but taking a few cued English classes in the past helped me fully understand how to pronounce certain words.

    Do not knock cued English until you have tried it yourself.

    Now, the idea of using cued symbols on eye glasses sounds like an awful idea. I can agree with that.

    Hearing educators are not out to ruin deaf children's lives. Yes, many make mistakes, and there are awful teachers out there (they usually don't last long). I am tired of people blaming teachers for failing to educate certain students. What about the parents? Teachers are not responsible for raising your children. Parents or caregivers are.

    You try teaching an overcrowded classroom, all coming from different backgrounds and families, while demands are thrown at you left and right from administrators and parents. Until you have been a teacher yourself, don't insult us. If you have such a problem with how deaf children are being educated become a teacher yourself.


  7. I'd use it because it would allow me to maintain eye contact with the speaker rather than looking down at a handheld device.

    There are always people who insist on talking despite my saying I don't lipread. It would help me sort out which people to answer and which to simply nod at and save the effort.

    Not a bad idea. Just hope the captions are accurate and not absolutely hilarious like YouTube's Neanderthal efforts at auto-captioning.

  8. I could certainly see them useful at a cinema too. I would try them, and like mentioned earlier, hoping the text would be reliable.

  9. when will they be available??


Keep it civil.