December 7, 2014

Special specs with live subtitles for hard of hearing

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 8:44 pm


Together with the help of engineer Michiel van Overbeek who himself is hard of hearing language researcher Niels Schiller of Leiden University developed a pair of glasses that provides live subtitles during one-on-one conversations. The glasses display the translated conversation on the inside of the glass with a delay of some hundred milliseconds per word and at a rate of 172 words a minute. Film subtitling, which is commonplace in the Netherlands, runs at 120 to 160 words a minute.

Schiller claims this could really change the daily lives of people who are deaf and hard of hearing, especially the elderly who are not eligible for a cochlear implant and who have issues learning sign language. After testing the glasses, their comprehension went from 25% of a conversation to between 70% and 85%.

However, just like other translation devices, the glasses still get it wrong quite a bit and the speech recognition microphone doesn’t always work the way it should. Schiller points out that like when using autocorrect on an app, the person with the glasses on has to correct some words within the context. In the future, the glasses could be used when visiting a foreign country where a person can’t speak the language, and place a light on the outside of them so the person talking knows when the translation has been completed.

I trust a lot of issues have to be addressed: what happens when the wearer already wears glasses? Durability? Price? Quality of speech recognition in busy and loud places? And there’s nothing wrong sign language although the Dutch have five sign language dialects.


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July 15, 2013

Joost Swarte designs pair of glasses

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 10:34 am

A person might say that Joost Swarte’s dark-rimmed Quotation Marks glasses are ‘expensive’, but that person would fail to see that these 250 euro glasses are ‘design’.

What makes the design of these glasses is a pair of quotation marks displayed on each side of the wearer’s face—which also is the name of the product, Quotation Marks. I can imagine it now, you go to Lukx, the off and online optician, and the sales person says “these glasses really make you what I like to call quote-unquote-you”. And you will say “these glasses really speak to me”. Sale for Mr Humphries!

I guess that in the grand scheme of things, if you are going to pay for a name, that name might as well be that of comics giant Joost Swarte, and you might as well pay 125 euro per quotation mark.

At least you get a free signed and numbered Joost Swarte print when you purchase his glasses.

(Image: Lukx)

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April 25, 2008

Princess Máxima ashamed of wearing glasses

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:38 am

Stop the freakin’ presses! Our popular blond (cough) Princess Máxima was spotted in Argentina, her home country, wearing – oh horror of horrors – glasses! Normally I would not care about something this trivial, but some attitudes are just too old fashioned for words. And of course I wear glasses. The picture is here, see the horror for yourselves.

The Argentinean media had no problems publishing the photo, after all the princess is proudly waving to her fans outside some building. The Nederlandse Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst (RVD), roughly the Dutch PR and information service for the royals, were asked if the princess did in fact wear glasses ’cause we ain’t never seen her like this before! They said: no comment. Are they blind too?

The brouhaha is all because Her Highness didn’t want to be photographed with glasses on and that this was not an official visit. We all should collectively pretend we didn’t see them because wearing glasses in 2008 is simply vulgar and embarrassing.

I thought trying to pass for a natural blond was embarrassing enough.

These are my glasses here above and everybody recognises them and me now. And I love my girl Nana Mouskouri’s funky Pierre Marly glasses no matter what anyone says.

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