New glasses allow deaf people, people with hearing loss to ‘see’ conversations
LONDON (AP) — XRAI Glass is a pioneering software product with a mission to enrich conversation for hundreds of millions of people around the world who are deaf or have hearing loss.
Jacqui Press, XRAI’s Chief Brand Officer who was born profoundly deaf, is now able to have a conversation on the phone using the XRAI Glass technology.
Users wearing phone-tethered augmented reality (AR) smart glasses will be able to read speech in real-time through closed captioning. The XRAI Glass software converts audio into a subtitled version of conversation which will then appear on the user’s glasses screen. The software’s sophisticated voice recognition capabilities can identify who’s speaking and will soon have the power to translate languages, voice tones, accents, and pitch.
XRAI Glass has formed a strategic partnership with consumer-ready AR glasses company nreal. The glasses will be available online to purchase by EE network customers for an upfront cost of £10 then £35 per month for 11 months or at EE stores nationwide for non-EE customers for £399.99. There will be no cost for the software during the public preview and the price following the public preview will be based on feedback from pilot users.
There are plans for wider rollout across other major devices and networks in the coming months.
During the public preview, the software will initially be available to a group of pilot users using the Google Play Store pre-flight experience. The trial period will last 2 months where the team will continuously listen and learn from its users, expanding the AI capabilities and intuitive properties of the software to provide the very best service. In the future, the software will move beyond the realm of audio into a multi-modal transcription experience.
The addressable market for this software is vast. 12 million adults in the UK are affected by hearing loss greater than 25 dbHL (decibels Hearing Level) 2 . This number is set to increase to 14.2 million adults by 2035 3. At the same time, there has been a 40% increase in smart wearables in the past year alone 4. Of this, 31.5% of the wearables market is controlled by hearables 5.
XRAI Glass also has ambitions to reach other markets where the software could prove helpful. Sectors include hospitality, law enforcement and education.
Commenting on the launch, Dan Scarfe, XRAI Glass CEO, said: “This is a momentous day for our team. We are so proud of the ability this innovative technology has to enrich the lives of people who are deaf and have hearing loss, so that they can maximise potential. Whether that means being able to have a conversation while continuing to make dinner or keeping a conversation going while walking with a friend.
“The scale of the opportunity is huge, and we want to thank our partners and advocates for their unwavering belief in the potential of XRAI Glass.”
Mark Atkinson, CEO, RNID, said: “This is a great example of the positive difference innovative technology can make for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. At RNID we are excited about the potential for technology to transform the lives of our communities.
“XRAI glass is intuitive and simple to use and could be a powerful tool in ensuring people with hearing loss don’t feel excluded in social settings. We support and applaud this endeavour and are keen to play our part in connecting innovators with our diverse communities.”
Steve Crump, Founder and Chair, DeafKidz International, said: “As a profoundly deaf person myself, I was blown away by this technology. When I tried on the glasses, I was astonished – real time subtitles that enable you to engage and participate as never before. I see XRAI Glass as a hugely positive force, and I can’t wait to work with the team to help bring this to life.”
Peng Jin, co-founder of Nreal, said: “We’re excited to see Nreal Air put to work in an inventive use case with benefits for users. Our company was founded to bring consumer-ready AR experiences to everyone, everywhere. So, we’re delighted that XRAI Glass is using Nreal AR glasses to empower deaf people in their everyday lives.”
View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220728005555/en/
The link to register for the public preview is: https://xrai.glass/
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SOURCE: XRAI Glass
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