Pick Up American Sign Language At Your Fingertips With This Handy Web Game
By Mikelle Leow, 03 May 2021
Screenshot via Fingerspelling
It’s a perfect time to learn a new language, and while people have been brushing up on their Spanish and French vocabulary at home, there’s one other important language that doesn’t always spring to mind.
A fun new online game by the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) and digital product agency Hello Monday aims to teach the basics of American Sign Language (ASL) to the masses right at home. Using a digital hand, Fingerspelling demonstrates how to spell a variety of words and awards points when you repeat those spellings accurately with your own hand.
“We created this tool to make it easier for deaf children and their parents to learn the ABC in American Sign Language,” the ASDC notes on the website. It adds that it doesn’t consider deafness to be a disability, but believes language deprivation is what causes a struggle. “That’s why it’s our mission to ensure that every deaf child can learn sign language from the very start.”
For that personal touch, your webcam has to be switched on, though the organization reassures that camera data will not be shared or stored anywhere. Fingerspelling relies on hand-tracking technology by MediaPipe Hands, a high-fidelity tool that can accurately detect hand and finger motions in real-time with the help of machine learning.
The hand-tracking tool is able to capture “21 3D landmarks” of a hand from a single frame, allowing it to work with everyday devices like mobile phones instead of dedicated equipment.
There are four levels in the game, with each increasing in difficulty. All hands on deck here.
Together with non-profit @deafchildren we are introducing https://t.co/MxhERBs9Am. It uses Hand Tracking & Machine Learning to help teach the ABCs in American Sign Language. 👋 ✌️ 🤞 ✋ #MediaPipe #ThreeJS pic.twitter.com/ihBHTXbBGr— hellomondaycom (@hellomondaycom) April 27, 2021
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