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New York University student team launches real-time sign language translation application

Although Magic Leap, a super-unicorn with a valuation of 6 billion U.S. dollars, planned to launch sign language interpreters for smart glasses in the near future, New York University students have already taken the lead in launching a mobile augmented reality (MR) application prototype.

By using computer vision technology and AR technology, ARSL applications enable users to use smartphone cameras to capture sign language gestures for reading and translate them into English in real time, and vice versa.

The application was developed by Heng Li, Jacky Chen, and Mingfei Huang, computer science students at New York University’s Tangden School of Engineering, through the Verizon Connected Futures Prototyping and Talent Development project. This project is part of Verizon’s NYC Media Lab NYC cooperation program, which aims to invest in emerging technologies, especially VR/AR and AI technology.

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“When we match outstanding students with excellent mentors in the Envrmnt team in the AR / VR lab, it will collide with wonderful ideas.” Christian Egeler, head of XR product development at Envrmnt, Verizon’s extended reality solution platform, at a The statement said, “We can discover the next generation of talent from these students in the process of real-time participation in cutting-edge projects to establish future technologies.”

This year, the program will fund more than a dozen projects, including sign language translation applications. Other applications through the program include Impromptu (a multi-user AR experience that allows nonmusic people to play music) and Dreami (a clay suit that introduces creatives into AR games).

“NYC is proud to connect Verizon with technology and creative talent at universities in New York City,” said Justin Hendrix, executive director of the New York Media Lab. “We are pleased to continue the advancement of VR/AR and artificial intelligence prototyping. These are still the focus of NYC’s attention, especially in the VR/AR Center jointly developed by NYC and the Tundra College of Engineering at New York University.

Whether these apps will have a place on the App Store or Google Play is not yet certain. According to a Verizon spokesman, the release of commercial applications is not the goal of the program, however, some teams (including ARSL) may seek to commercialize products in the future.

In an interview with foreign media, Li expressed their wish: “Although we know we have just explored the tip of the iceberg in the long-term problems that exist around the world, we still hope to continue interviewing our end users to get their opinions.”

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