Do you or someone you love have speech issues or a hearing impairment that prevents them from performing tasks, such as making phone calls on a smartphone? While many take the ability to place a call on a mobile device for granted, others are not as fortunate.
Yes, there are standard built-in accessibility options or software downloads for Android phones. However, when it comes to ensuring everyone has equal opportunity, there is always room for improvement.
Improving upon or complementing existing technology is precisely what one man has set out to do all with the hope of making lives better for those in need.
The inspiration for Live Relay
Touched by a social media post, software engineer Sapir Caduri is focused on enhancing the accessibility options for Android. His inspiration came after reading a story of a deaf man trying to fix his home internet with the assistance of his service provider. Unfortunately, the company’s tech support was unable to help the gentleman as they had no way of communicating with him.
Mr. Caduri’s vision to help those in the deaf community and the mute community with Live Relay is still in the ‘research and development phase’ according to Google execs. However, after Live Relay was highlighted at the I/O/2019, it’s most likely the integration of this technology into the Android operating system will occur in the near future.
Special feature provides the ability to make and receive live-transcribed calls
Live Relay is a voice-to-text and text-to-speech feature that would provide the ability to make or receive a live-transcribed phone call. This capability would be possible as Live Relay will reside wholly on an Android device, eliminating the need for third-party apps for transcription, keeping any conversations private.
The mobile device user can type out custom messages or utilize Smart Reply, an AI-powered technology, to send pre-composed replies while the caller’s audio is transcribed into text for the receiver to read.
While Live Relay is designed to provide improved accessibility for those in need, the feature could prove to be of benefit to those wanting to make or place a phone call on their Android without having to use their voice, anytime or anywhere, such as during an important business meeting.
What version of the Android OS will see the incorporation of Live Relay is currently unknown. However, when this technology is available for people, including the gentleman that inspired the creation of Live Relay, we will be one step closer to providing equal opportunity and inclusion for all.