Hand Talk | What the Tech? App of the Day

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — For half a million Americans who rely on sign language to communicate, there really hasn’t been a way to translate and break that language barrier.

Now, there’s a smartphone app that can help make those conversations easier.

It’s called “Hand Talk.” When you need to have a conversation with someone who knows sign language, enter what you want to say in a text box. You can also hold the microphone button and say it.

An animated character, Hugo or Maya will translate what you say into sign language. The words appear at the top of the screen as well.

It doesn’t do well with long sentences but it does fine if you break it up into short statements and questions.

You can control how fast the character signs and which character to use to interpret.

It doesn’t work both ways, though. Hand Talk can’t take someone’s sign language and interpret it into speech or text.

That means the person who knows sign language will need to use their phone to enter text so you can read what they say.

It’s helpful, easy to use, and very cool. Hand Talk is supported by advertisements so the free app is going to have ads pop up on the screen. If you want to get rid of those, it’s a one-time payment of $10.

Hand Talk is available for iPhone and Android devices.

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