Month: December 2013

Nelson Mandela Memorial Sign Language “interpreter”

Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34 shot to fame after being criticised for his controversial hand gestures at the memorial service of Nelson Mandela, held today in Johannesburg.

It was said by many newspapers Jantjie’s was experiencing a schizophrenic episode in which he had “seen angels and heard voices”.

Apparently his interpretation included words such as “prawns” and “rocking horse” into some of the speeches.

This is quite frightful as he stands just feet away from US President Barack Obama, and many other world leaders!

Many will have watched the memorial service live, with subtitles, however as the interpretation was in South African Sign language, it may not have been fully realised by all, that in fact he was making up signs.

No matter what was going on, perhaps mental health problems, fear or nerves, it shows that Sign Language has to be taking seriously, and that proper accessibility to services such as interpreters and/ or other devices are crucial.

If only the deaf audience, in attendance at the memorial service had an alternative device provided, they too would have fully engaged with the happenings like many others watching at home.


Disney Research


A Japanese expression meaning to communicate through an unspoken mutual understanding.

The Ishin-Den-Shin system, researched and designed by Disney, involves a handheld microphone connected to a computer.

When someone speaks into the microphone, the computer turns the sound into a looped recording. This recorded sound is an inaudible signal until physical contact with another person. Only then, while still holding the microphone, sound is transmitted through touch. Physical contact via another person acts as a speaker.

From example, if someone spoke and touched another persons ear it would sound like a whisper.

Screenshot 2014-01-17 13.53.56Screenshot 2014-01-17 13.54.08Screenshot 2014-01-17 13.54.14

Pretty bizarre!!

Apologies in advance that this youtube video does not have subtitles. However, it is an interesting visual to make clear of my waffle….

Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses


Sony has developed entertainment access glasses, utilising holographic technology. When wearing the eyewear, users can see closed caption text seemingly superimposed onto the movie picture that they’re watching on screen.

These glasses, I’m sure, are competitors of Google Glass, offering users similar options such as captioning movies.

Sony’s glasses however include these…….


A receiver box and audio headphones for Blind users.

My own personal preference at this stage would be Google glass, as Sony’s glasses have wires and additional attachments which may become a hassle when sitting in the cinema trying to balance popcorn and drinks. They are also bulky and more obviously worn on the face.

What are your thoughts on Sony Glasses, in comparison to Google glass?

Google Glass

Google glass

In 2011 Google X completed the first prototype for ” Project Glass”, a head- mounted device, worn like glasses. You may at first think it is a little futuristic in style, or resembles something as seen from Star Trek….

Star Trek…… But I can assure you, it is a lot less obvious!

Google Glass enables a person to walk down a street with an audible and visual map. It can instantly take pictures and video recordings with the ability to share this information live. There is even the option to translate your voice into another language.

The hands- free device works like a smart phone, giving access to internet, emails, messaging and phone calls.

My head has been flooding with ideas, what if  Google glass, with a few slight adjustments became fully functional for both hearing and Deaf users.

Take a peek for yourself…..

For more information visit:

Leap Motion

How fantastic!

A sensor perfect for picking up body gestures. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see this piece of technology merge with other devices/products to make quicker easier use of your movements!

The Leap Motion Controller has a sensor that tracks the movement of hands and fingers… You can use this with a computer to play games, create and explore without even having to touch anything.

This device could have huge potential for those who use British Sign Language (BSL) or any other form of sign language. Imagine a device being able to understand the gestures of sign language and translate them into text form.

What if Leap Motion gave you the opportunity to operate and control using your hands,  giving instructions through sign language, rather than written form.

Get excited!

You can find out more information and watch more video clips at: