Samsung launches Made In India app to help deafblind individuals with easy two-way communication
Samsung has introduced two tech-enabled solutions Good Vibes and Relúmĭno to help deafblind individuals and people with low vision to easily communicate and see better.
Good Vibes, developed in India, enables the deafblind to have two-way communication with their caregivers and loved ones using their smartphones.
Relúmĭno, developed by Samsung employees as part of the company’s C-Lab programme globally, is a visual aid application for people with low vision. It enables them to see images clearer by magnifying and minimising images, highlighting the image outline, adjusting colour contrast and brightness, and reversing colour.
The Good Vibes app, which can run on any Android device, uses Morse code to convert vibrations into text or voice and vice-versa. The app has two different user interfaces (UI). One has an invisible UI for the deafblind, which uses vibrations, taps and gestures, while the other has a visible UI - a standard chat interface - for the caregiver.
With the deafblind interface, a deafblind person uses a combination of dots and dashes to send their messages. The standard interface allows users to type or use voice to send messages to the deafblind. The text or voice is received as vibrations in Morse code that the deafblind can interpret.
At present, the Good Vibes app can be downloaded from the Samsung Galaxy Store. Soon, it will be made available on the Google Play Store for other Android smartphone users.
As part of its Citizenship Initiatives, Samsung has partnered with Sense India, a not-for-profit dedicated to improve the lives of the deafblind in the country, to take Good Vibes to the deafblind across India.
So far, Samsung has conducted training workshops for Sense India educators and deafblind individuals along with their caregivers in Delhi and Bengaluru. It is now providing Samsung Galaxy A20 smartphones, with Good Vibes installed, to deafblind individuals and their caregivers.
“Good Vibes is going to create a platform where our society will be able to communicate with deafblind people using smartphones. At Sense India, we have been working with deafblind for their betterment and development through comprehensive training. Good Vibes will help them connect with a larger number of people around them, something they were unable to do so far,” said Parag Namdeo, Head, Advocacy and Networks, Sense India.
Over the last few months of training with the deafblind and their caregivers, the basic functionality of the app was tested and fine-tuned through their feedback. The notifications, text sizing, duration and interval of vibrations were improved upon after these workshops.
“This app is useful for my son Waqar and he is using it independently now. Waqar’s dream is to become a teacher and this app may help him to communicate and understand another person (his students), which will support him in daily living and learning,” said Nargis Shaikh, mother of Waqar Shaikh, a deafblind student who has received training on Good Vibes. He was able to write and understand whole sentences using Morse code on the Good Vibes app after only a few training sessions.
For Relúmĭno, Samsung has partnered with the National Association for the Blind (NAB) Delhi. It will provide Samsung Gear VR and Galaxy Note 9 smartphones to NAB Delhi. The company will also provide training on how to use them.
NAB will use Relúmĭno in classrooms where students with low vision using these devices will be able to see better, helping them improve their learning abilities.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)