Most people at some point will become familiar with a few phrases in ASL but unless you know someone with a hearing impairment and you have to communicate with them frequently, there is only a small chance that you might know enough ALS to have a conversation. Flip the table; if you’ve got a hearing impairment and find yourself in a situation where you need to talk to someone who doesn’t know ASL you have a problem. Fortunately in both circumstances an iPhone and just about any other phone with an internet connection and a browser can help you out with an app and service called I Can’t Hear.
You will have to install the ICantHear app on your phone first. Make sure Dictation is enabled. The app will give you a very simple URL that must be opened on the other device before you can start communicating. The device can be a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop.
Tap the mic button on your iPhone’s keyboard and speak whatever it is you want to say. The app will analyse it and show the text for what it thinks you said.
The URL open on the other device will reflect the same text so the hearing impaired individual can read and respond to it. During tests, it was exceptionally accurate. That isn’t all though; if the person in question doesn’t speak the same language as you, the URL where they view the text version of your speech has a translation tool which it turns out is also fairly accurate. I mean I tried it with the two languages I know and the translation was accurate.
If we were to describe I Can’t Hear very simply and in a bit of a crude manner we could call it a text-to-speech service. The fact is that it’s a good app to use when you have little or no options in a situation like this and communication is essential. It is still difficult for the other person to reply since it’s one-way communication and that needs fixing. It also needs an Android app.