Snapchat Releases New Lenses Teaching ASL Basics

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Snapchat has released new lenses that teach the basics of American Sign Language (ASL).

To the list of things you can do with Snapchat’s creative capabilities, add “learn the principles of sign language.”

Snapchat produced exclusive stickers and three augmented reality lenses to commemorate International Week of the Deaf, which teach users the fundamentals of fingerspelling in American Sign Language.

Jennica Pounds, a deaf software engineer at Snapchat’s Snap Lab, was the driving force behind the endeavor. She stated the glasses were inspired by her son’s struggles to learn American Sign Language in the past. “I’m excited about this technology because I feel it will open up a slew of new possibilities. This type of technology will aid families like mine in communicating and growing together “In a press statement, Pounds stated.

Fingerspelling is approached in three ways by various lenses. Users can learn how to spell their own screennames with “Fingerspell Username.” “Randomizer Fingerspeller” creates a variety of words for users to spell, such as “rainbow” or “flowers.” “Random Words” puts users’ finger spelling recall to the test. The lenses can be found in the “Lens Explorer” section (tap the little smiley face on the camera screen, then go to “Explore”).

The lenses were designed in collaboration with SignAll, a development business that creates AI technology for sign language identification, translation, and teaching in order to bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing communities.

Snapchat’s Discover page already included closed captioning and subtitles choices before this week’s introduction. The additional lenses and stickers (which contain Bitmojis using ASL) give a feeling of representation inside the app’s many filters, games, and chat features, building on existing accessible capabilities. They were also developed with the help and input of Snapchat employees who are deaf or hard of hearing. “We want all members of our community, including native signers, to feel as if our products are built for them,” Snapchat wrote.

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