Further to our last guest column about apps to help the hard of hearing, Louise Baker from Zen College Life examines the top five iPhone apps which can help transform the lives of people with hearing difficulties.
5. Subtitles One of the great features of the iPhone and other mobile devices are the awesome multimedia capabilities that they possess. We now have vast libraries of movies and television shows at our fingertips. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are often no subtitles available, and when they are, they’re typically only available in English. The Subtitles app corrects the situation by giving users access to an incredible library of subtitles for almost every movie and television show ever made in a wide range of languages.
4. Tap Tap Tap Tap is an ingenious app that allows deaf users to react to their audio environment. It uses the built-in microphone of the device to pick up sounds above a threshold that the user can adjust. By default, it’s sensitive enough to pick up car crashes, car honks, and even shouting. When the app detects the sound, it forces the iPhone to vibrate, and it creates a flashing effect using the screen to get your attention.
3. Google Goggles A common challenge for deaf and hard of hearing people is communication. Asking a simple question can often be a difficulty that feels like a burden. Google Goggles is an app that helps alleviate that burden. Here’s how it works: the user takes a snapshot of the item in question, and then Google returns a list of keywords related to the item. In stores, you can use it on barcodes, logos, and even text. Outdoors, you can use it on landmarks, and then have instant access to maps of the area.
2. Google Voice After setting up a free Google Voice account, Google sends a transcript and an audio file to your email account whenever you receive a voicemail. Now, like all automated transcription services, Google Voice is imperfect. However, it does a good enough job that you can get the gist of a message. This is a nice alternative for those who want to avoid a manual transcription service, and if you pay per transcription, it allows you to pay only when Google Voice fails.
1. IP-Relay IP-Relay is an iOS transcription app for live phone calls using a live operator. The user initiates the call through the IP-Relay service, and then the operator explains to the receiving party that this is a transcribed phone conversation from a deaf caller. From the caller’s perspective, IP-Relay works like instant messaging program, and it works extremely fast. The only limitation is the text entry speed of the caller.
Louise Baker blogs about getting an online degree at Zen College Life. Her most recent post looked at the top 10 nursing schools.