Snapchat Honours ‘The International Week of Deaf People’

Snapchat Creates AI Lenses Teaching Users To Fingerspell in American Sign Language

The International Week of Deaf People has been celebrated across the world during the last full week of September for over a decade. This year, Snapchat has implemented a unique and educational method to honour deaf people’s communities, cultures, languages and sign languages.

Specifically, the social media giant has introduced three AR Lenses and custom stickers, created by AI start-up Sign All that solely focuses on technology for deaf people. These lenses were tested by Snapchat employees, who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and their feedback passed onto the Sign All team.

[Image Creds: Snapchat]

Sign All have been able to develop technology that can track movements of sign language, which can be turned into spoken language. These lenses will help users learn to spell their names in, and words such as love, hug and smile, in American Sign Language.


Additionally, new Bitmoji stickers of commonly signed terms have been created.

[Image Creds: Snap]

Snap Lab software engineer Jennica Pounds helped deliver the release of the Snap features Pounds is deaf herself, and described how her motivation for the features’ creation was her oldest son, who found learning sign language challenging.

Pounds reported, “I’m passionate about this technology because I truly believe it’s going to break so many applications wide open… It’s tech like this that will help families like mine communicate and grow together.”

The new features will undoubtedly help raise awareness of deaf people’s experiences, whilst facilitating communication between them and their loved ones.

Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.