Trouble-free Hearing for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
AI-powered technology helps deaf people overcome obstacles in daily life and live fuller, more inclusive lives
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 466 million people are deaf or hard of hearing worldwide. As well as the functional, social, and emotional impact unaddressed hearing loss has on individuals, it costs the global economy US$750 billion per year in healthcare provision, education support, and productivity losses.
The majority of people with a disabling hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries where there's less support for health, education, and other services needed to live a full life. While digital technology has brought great convenience to billions of people, it risks widening the digital divide for those with disabilities unless we take steps toward making technology accessible to all.
In China, more than 27.8 million people – 1.99% of the entire population – are deaf or hard of hearing. Around 20,000 babies are born each year with some degree of congenital deafness, making it one of the most common disabilities in the nation of 1.44 billion.
As they grow up, they face obstacles in daily activities like classes, meetings, shopping, banking, and using public services, scenarios where many of us take listening for granted.
In China, a strong unmet demand for sign language interpretation exists.
Technology Opens a Window to Communication
Based on HUAWEI CLOUD AI, China's E-times Digital Technology has developed Trouble-free Hearing – an app designed to make online learning and entertainment more accessible and enable easy communication in everyday scenarios. Trouble-free Hearing uses HUAWEI CLOUD's speech recognition and synthesis technologies to provide accurate speech-to-text and text-to-speech conversion.
For example, online videos have become a major medium for learning and entertainment, and for some the major medium. Trouble-free Hearing uses HUAWEI CLOUD's real-time speech recognition technology to generate subtitles for videos played on mobile phones, giving access to a fuller range of content for the hard of hearing.
E-times Digital Technology has also established an online sign language hub, recruiting sign language teachers and volunteers to help deaf people communicate in more challenging environments such as talking to doctors, legal consultations, and at service windows. The service provides face-to-face sign interpretation services via remote video conferencing when automated translation is insufficient, for example, if particularly complex information needs to be communicated.
Our online sign language hub aggregates sign language resources, helping deaf people access the services they need like real-time subtitles for podcasts and videos. We plan to expand our partnerships so that everyone can get the information they need, trouble free.
Deputy Manager and Head of Technology
E-times Digital Technology
There are few sign language interpreters in China and their time and energy are limited. It's great that there's an on-demand technology that can help our deaf friends, so they can get support anytime they need it.
Vice-Chairman, Association of the Deaf, Nangang District, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province
The first sign language volunteer for Trouble-free Hearing
Tech for All and Tech for Good
As of the end of 2020, more than 15,000 people were using the Trouble-free Hearing app as a dedicated digital interpreter that's available on-demand. In China, there are more than 100 varieties of sign language and a severe shortage of sign language interpreters. Those who have learned sign language and are willing to join the ranks of Trouble-free Hearing's sign language volunteers can download the app and offer their services.
Technology should not be for the few, but for all. By working together, we can help bridge the gap so that everyone has the potential to live full, unobstructed lives.
Click the following link or scan the QR code below to download the Trouble-free Hearing APP