Apps like Duolingo allow learners across the world to learn new languages from their phones. However, there hasn't been much innovation in terms of American Sign Language, or ASL. Since it's such a visual language, I thought it'd be fun to create a language learning app that teaches lessons through a user's existing favorite music.
There's ~36 million hard of hearing and deaf individuals living in the United States. By learning ASL, you'll have the means to communicate effectively with a huge chunk of the population. By incorporating familiar music into a learning environment where much is new, hopefully users will feel that ASL lessons are more like a game than chores.
What it does
Users can specify their favorite music genres when creating their accounts, and then complete curated lessons that teach ASL with their favorite songs. The lessons will stop throughout the song, slow down certain areas, and explain certain words/translations/cultural significance/etc.
So far, the content in the prototype is from Youtube ASL music videos. Hopefully, in the future, volunteers, ASL translators, or even music artists themselves could be incentived to upload video content of themselves performing the lyrics in sign language.
What's next for A.S.L is L.I.T
Hopefully I can code this into a real thing! Due to time constraints I was just able to create a prototype, but I think this is a really exciting project idea that could definitely turn into something more.
Perhaps I could integrate some ML to add a feature that would allow users to turn on their cameras and try to translate given lyrics into ASL. The app would give them a percent accuracy ranking based on finger tracking (ex. You were 59% accurate! Good job.) This could be super fun for friends to practice their new skills, compete with each other to try and get the best scores, and keep each other accountable.