Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory Limited announced that, starting in mid-May, they will begin sales of FUJITSU Software LiveTalk, a participatory communications tool for people with hearing disabilities, to companies and schools in Japan.
LiveTalk is software that, for situations in which multiple people share information, such as meetings or classroom settings, recognizes a speaker’s speech, immediately converts it into text, and displays it on multiple PC screens, enabling all participants, including people with hearing disabilities, to share information in real time. Even without a human transcriber or other assistance, which until now has been required when hearing-impaired and hearing people work or learn in the same environment, LiveTalk enables smooth two-way communication, with built-in functions for text input and stamp tools from PCs.
When persons with hearing disabilities participate in a meeting, using a transcriber or other method to transmit the information has made it difficult for the person to grasp the content of discussions in real time, resulting in the problem of lost opportunities to speak at appropriate times. In addition, because a significant burden is placed on the person transmitting the information, there have been significant obstacles to having people with hearing disabilities participate in meetings.
Focusing on the issue of communication with people with hearing disabilities, and based on the technologies of Fujitsu, which has been advancing initiatives in universal design, Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory developed and commercialized LiveTalk, a participatory communications tool for people with hearing disabilities that creates a smoother and more natural communications environment.
By promoting smooth communication between hearing-impaired and hearing people, this software can be expected to broaden employment and educational opportunities for people with hearing disabilities. The software was developed with a 2013 grant from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications promoting the use of IC.