Snapchat’s looking to help increase awareness and usage of sign language, with a new Lens that’s able to recognize American Sign Language (ASL) gestures and translate them in the app.
As explained by Snap:
“We’re constantly working to expand the ways Snapchatters can express themselves and make connections through our Camera. Today, we're launching an ASL Alphabet Lens in partnership with SignAll. It's a first of its kind Lens experience that inspires Snapchatters to start learning American Sign Language!”
As you can see in the above sequence, the new Lens teaches Snap users to fingerspell, via various games and exercises within the app.
The new Lens was built using Snap’s evolving hand-tracking technology, which provides more capacity for communication, in new forms, via the app. Snapchat used the same technology to power a series of similar Lenses launched last year, as part of International Week of the Deaf, which also encouraged users to fingerspell various words.
The new Lens takes this a step further, providing more in-depth insight and examples to help more people understand the right usage of ASL gestures.
It could be a good way to raise awareness, and facilitate more inclusion - while Snap’s also looking at further applications for its hand gesture recognition tools, which could help to expand communication options for hearing impaired users.
“For native signers, in a world where linguistic inequity is prevalent, we believe AR can help evolve the way we communicate. We look forward to learning more from our community as we strive to continuously improve experiences for everyone on Snapchat.”
It’s a good experiment, and a great way to get more people more aware of sign language, and maybe at least learn the basics via these examples and games.
You can check it out for yourself in Snapchat.