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SiMAX – translation machine for sign language

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SiMAX (SiMAX – translation machine for sign language)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-07-31

In this action the Austrian SME SignTime carried out a feasibility study for its innovative solution SiMAX, a translation “machine” for sign language. The objectives of the action were the development of demonstrations of translations made by SiMAX, collecting technical and economic feedback from key market segments, from experts and the deaf community and incorporating all insights including market study results into a technology adaptation plan and a detailed business and market entry plan.
Seven translations of different content, e.g. a children`s broadcast or an incident message in public transport were made. They were used as demonstrations for a survey among deaf people and experts in the field of deaf community and sign language. The feedback collected showed us were further development is necessary, e. g. concerning facial expression and body movement. However the survey revealed that the acceptance of a sign language avatar among the experts and the target group is high. They named many fields of application where translations presented by the avatar are desirable are e. g. citizen information, incident messages in public transport, guides in museums or city guides, package inserts of medicines etc. Test partners also could use these demonstrations. The city of Vienna used the information about how to vote for the current information campaign on the occasion of the actual election on their homepage. The community broadcasting station Okto published it on TV – the first translation in sign language made by an avatar and shown on TV. The publishing of the translation raised the awareness for SiMAX and feedback was positive. Due to improvements necessary according to the collected feedback, we elaborated a technology adaption plan. Based on this we will carry out changes and adaptions in the workflow and in the technical structure of the system. According to the business plan which was elaborated in this action there will be a return on investment in three years.
The final results show that there is a market for SiMAX and that this innovation is accepted by the target group. Also the coaching program raised the investment readiness level and brought in contacts to possible investors and customers. In this action we could get a lot closer to our aim to bring to market a product which can essentially contribute to increase accessibility to information society for the deaf community and thus promoting inclusion and social cohesion.
SiMAX the sign language avatar
SiMAX the sign language avatar can take on different appearances