Software engineering and development have been among the most dynamically changing fields over the years. Our voice is one of our most powerful tools, and one which we often take for granted - we share ideas and inspiration and can communicate instantly on a global scale. However, according to recent statistics, 3 out of 1000 children are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. While many developers have pursued methods of converting sign language to English, we identified a need for increased accessibility in the opposite way. In an effort to propel forth the innovators of tomorrow, we wanted to develop a learning tool for children with hearing impairments to accelerate their ability to find their own voice.

What it does

Our Sign Language Trainer is primarily designed to teach children sign language by introducing them to the ASL alphabet with simple words and effective visuals. Additionally, the application implements voice-to-text to provide feedback on word pronunciation to allow children with a hearing impairment to practice speaking from a young age.

How we built it

The program was built using node.js as well as HTML. We also made a version of the web app for Android using Java.

Challenges we ran into

The majority of our team was not familiar with HTML nor node.js, which caused many roadblocks during the majority of the hack. Throughout the competition, although we had an idea of what we wanted to accomplish, our plans continued to change as we learned new things about the available software. The main challenge that we dealt with was the large amount of learning involved with creating a website from scratch as we kept running into new problems that we had never seen before. We also had to overcome issues with hosting the domain using Firebase.

Accomplishments that we proud of

While also our largest challenge, the amount of content we had to learn about web development was our favorite accomplishment. We were really happy to have completed a product from scratch with almost no prior knowledge of the tools we used to build it. The addition of creating a phone app for our project was the cherry on top.

What I learned

  1. Learned about node.js, HTML, and CSS
  2. The ability to understand and structure code through analysis and documentation
  3. How to cooperate as a team and brainstorm effectively
  4. GitHub was new for some members of the team, but by the end, we were all using it like a pro
  5. How to implement android applications with android studio
  6. How to fully develop our own website

What's next for floraisigne

If we were to continue this project, we would try and add additional hardware to exponentially increase the accuracy of the solution. We would also implement a neural network system to allow the product to convert sign language into English Language.

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