How Wikitude and Augmented Reality are helping the deaf communicate

We know that augmented reality can do some cool stuff – but you can imagine how good we felt when we heard about Markus Streibl, who used Wikitude tech to help deaf kids communicate better by using Augmented Reality flashcards.

After being granted a Wikitude academic license, Streibl, a Master’s student in Business Informatics in Graz, Austria, and working at Evolaris, used the Wikitude EDU SDK to develop an app that helped his wife, a school teacher at the Center for Inclusion and Special Education (ZIS), give children with hearing problems another tool for learning. AR-enabled flashcards help students form a strong connection between the item and the sign language gesture. There is also an added benefit – students can study and practice on their own.

deaf children using Augmented Reality to improve their reading skills in a classroom

It’s a mission with a good cause. “Literacy skills are key to helping people communicate and participate socially,” he says. “Impaired hearing represents a significant barrier to obtaining good literacy skills.” While other IT-based learning tools exist, none employ augmented reality to improve literacy, specifically.

The app was part of his Master’s thesis. he partnered with the ZIS to conduct a four-month trial on how an AR app, in conjunction with analog flashcards, helped deaf children learn to communicate and read. While the four-month trial is not quite sufficient to draw scientific conclusions, the information obtained indicates that improved learning success for reading skills can be achieved using an AR application, and flashcards. He speculates this might be triggered by increased motivation through the use of mobile devices as well as by the strong connection between the word and the image, plus and the possibility of a review of the student’s needs.
All in all, the project has been a success – and is a great reminder AR is going to change the world in ways we haven’t even realized yet.
Want to make great things happen with our technology? Check out our blog post on how to get started with our academic license.

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