SignTown points the way

Central Station | 25 May 2021

It's a sign of the times as four international bodies have got together to give sign language a new look through online game, SignTown, which teaches sign language and raises deaf awareness.

The latest game, a collaboration of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kwansei Gakuin University and the Nippon Foundation in Japan and Google, is expected to be released on September 23 - the International Day of Sign Language.

It features sign language recognition training, for which users can control a character in a virtual town where everyone communicates in signs to complete tasks - such as placing orders in a cafe - and sheds light on deaf culture.

Enthusiastic learners can get Japanese sign-language training in the game as well.

The research team deployed an open source platform for machine learning - TensorFlowTM, enabling users to learn and express themselves in sign language, as well as to collect feedback about their signing with a computer and a webcam.

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