UNI will use gesture recognition technology called Leap Motion. Leap Motion, the group who developed the product, is a motion control company that manufactures and markets a hardware sensor device that supports hand and finger motions¬¬, but requires no contact or touching. With this technology, UNI should allow users to see how their signs appear on camera. Thus making sure that the signs are being inputted correctly.
On Tuesday, Motion Savvy initiated an IndieGoGo campaign to help crowd-fund the tablet. For $499, a discounted rate of 40 percent off, 200 backers will get a tablet of their very own. By raising enough money, the company should be able to hire beta testers to help build its dictionary of ASL signs.
Because there are a variety of signs that can be used to convey any particular word, users of the tablet can upload their own signs using a feature called Sign Builder. The feature gathers and collects individual signs while also distributing the information to every UNI Device. With time and improvement, the UNI should be capable of recognizing and interpreting hundreds of thousands of signs.
Yet UNI is not the only company looking in on the deaf market. Several other companies have been developing methods on improving the lives of the deaf community. Transcense recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign for an app that can provide real-time voice recognition, which can allow a deaf person to follow a conversation. However, UNI is the only company that has provided a way of allowing a deaf person to effectively communicate back.
Eventually the price for a UNI tablet is going to increase in order to compete in the market. As previously mentioned, the tablet as being sold on the IndieGoGo site has a 40 percent discount. When the tablet launches in 2015, the price will increase to $799, which will not include the monthly subscription fee. After purchasing the product, users will pay $20 a month for the upkeep and maintenance of UNI’s dictionary.
While Campbell does think that his price is fair, he doubts that it will put sign interpreters out of work, but instead, hopes that the UNI will increase demand for sign interpreters. As of right now, only half of the deaf community has work, which Campbell hopes to change. If UNI is successful and can facilitate one on one conversations between the deaf and the hearing, then there is a likelier chance that members of the deaf community will have more of a chance of finding a high paying job. If they can get past the interview process, maybe the company will pay for a professional interpreter to improve communication.