I understand you now! There's a Google Glass app for hard-of-hearing users

Georgia Tech scientists have created an app that creates captions on Google Glass for users who are hard of hearing.

Georgia Tech scientists have created an app that creates captions on Google Glass for users who are hard of hearing.

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology developed speech-to-text software for Google's wearable technology. Using Glass and an Android-based smartphone, the app converts speech to text and displays it on the Glass heads-up display.

"This system allows wearers like me to focus on the speaker's lips and facial gestures," said Jim Foley, a professor at Georgia Tech, in a statement. "If hard-of-hearing people understand the speech, the conversation can continue immediately without waiting for the caption. However, if I miss a word, I can glance at the transcription, get the word or two I need and get back into the conversation."

According to Georgia Tech, the system works by having a hard-of-hearing person wear Glass while the person he's trying to converse with speaks directly into the smartphone. The speech is converted to text, sent to Glass and displayed on its heads-up display.

"Glass has its own microphone, but it's designed for the wearer," said Thad Starner, a Georgia Tech professor and a technical lead for Glass. "The mobile phone puts a microphone directly next to the speaker's mouth, reducing background noise and helping to eliminate errors."

The app, called Captioning on Glass, is free and is available at MyGlass.

Google has been focused on expanding its app ecosystem for Glass, adding apps for Facebook, Twitter and CNN.

Google is still working to move Glass from prototype to an official product.

Google offered the eyewear for general sale in May, although Glass still is in beta testing. The company is looking for early adopters, also known as Explorers, while engineers continue to work on the hardware and software, and third parties add to the selection of apps.

Earlier this year, Google executives said they expected Glass to be released later in 2014. However, during the company's annual developer conference, they stopped estimating release dates and said Glass will be released when it's ready.

This story, "I understand you now! There's a Google Glass app for hard-of-hearing users" was originally published by Computerworld.

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