Recent Work

All Ears: A Threat Alert System and Discourse Assistant for Hearing Impaired

The perspective of hearing impaired or deaf persons towards the world differs from normal individuals to a large extent. The absence of hearing ability not only makes life difficult, but can even result in unavoidable fatal accidents. The advancement in information technology is changing the lifestyle of people. The ease it provides is beneficial for almost every community. However, no concrete solution has been developed for the deaf individuals. That being said, current solutions lack the element of usability and fail to provide a complete package. This work focuses on hearing impaired individuals and the role of speech in communication. The study addresses two major problems faced by deaf community. First one is unawareness of the environmental sounds and threats, and the second involves the absence of dialogue communication. The absence of hearing ability causes the deaf individuals to poorly perceive their surroundings. Hence in case of a harmful situation that could be avoided by first perceiving it through sound, would not be avoided by the deaf individuals. Similarly, face to face dialogue plays an important role in communication. From school kids to corporate businessmen, everyone communicates by exchange of words. Imagine a business meeting scenario where the executives of an organization are stuck on a problem. The solution clicks to a deaf individual who is performing activities that does not require him to speak much. It would be very difficult for such a person to quickly convey his message. The developed solution of this work relies on an Android-based application that allows the hearing-impaired individuals to be better aware of the environment and have dialogue communication just like normal individuals. The User Interface (UI) of the application has been designed by making use of certain standards and after development; usability engineering is performed to make sure that the developed interface produces positive results. The experimental results from actual users imply that the application developed can positively aid hearing impaired in assessing the environmental threats and have successful dialogue communication in a controlled environment.The work aims to provide a guideline for the development of solutions for deaf individuals.