Communications Update: A Postscript on New Technologies for the Deaf

PSLT stands for Portable Sign Language Translator, a software program being developed by Technabling Ltd., an Aberdeen, Scotland-based company focused on developing technologies for independent living.

PSLT is designed to run on portable devices and translate sign language into written text. Using the camera on a smart phone, laptop, tablet or netbook, the signer can talk to anyone including those who do not understand sign language.

PSLT lets users build custom hand gestures and signs for work-related or instructional purposes using the CSL, a customizable sign language dictionary that can be expanded beyond the 8,000 prebuilt  words and phrases.

The developers are also designing PSLT to allow users to issue sign commands to control devices in the home or workplace. This will be particularly valuable to those with limited mobility.

PSLT is an open source project with the developers hoping to have the application ready to launch on portable devices by mid-2013.

Through PSLT deaf people using sign language will be able to communicate with non-sign language users through portable devices.

Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery.