Tech major Samsung on Monday unveiled two apps – Good Vibes and Relumino – to provide communication tools to the deafblind and people with low vision in the country.
Good Vibes has been developed in India, and uses Morse code to convert vibrations into text or voice and vice-versa. A deafblind person uses a combination of dots and dashes to send their messages, which are received as text or voice on the caregiver’s app.
Similarly, text or voice messages sent are received as vibrations in Morse code that the deafblind can interpret.
“We have partnered with Sense India to take Good Vibes to the deafblind across the country. We have conducted training workshops for educators, deafblind individuals along with their caregivers in Delhi and Bengaluru,” Samsung India Vice President Trivikram Thakore told reporters here.
He added that the app can be downloaded from Samsung Galaxy Store and will soon be made available on Google Play Store.
According to estimates, there are about 5,00,000 people in India who are deafblind.
The app has been in development for about two years. The first version of the app allowed communication between two deafblind individuals and the latest version now allows them to communicate with their caregivers as well, even when they aren’t near, Thakore said.
“Over the last few months of training, the basic functionality of the app was tested and fine-tuned through their feedback. The notifications, text sizing, duration and interval of vibrations were improved upon after these workshops,” he explained.
The company is now providing its Galaxy A20 smartphones, with the Good Vibes installed, to Sense India that will distribute it to deafblind and their caregivers.
The second app – Relumino – was developed by Samsung employees as part of the company’s C-Lab programme globally.
It is a visual aid application for people with low vision and enables them to see images clearer by magnifying and minimizing images, highlighting the image outline, adjusting colour contrast and brightness, and reversing colour.
Samsung has partnered with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi and is providing it with its Gear VR (virtual reality headsets) and Galaxy Note9 smartphones. NAB will use Relumino in classrooms where students with low vision will use these devices to see better, thus, helping them improve their learning abilities.
Citing 2017 WHO data, Samsung said of the 253 million vision impaired people, an estimated 217 million people have low vision and 14 million were blind.