According to various estimates, more than five per cent of the world’s population (430 million people) have a hearing impairment, which makes it difficult for them to communicate with other people. Unfortunately, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, nearly 2.5 billion people will have some degree of hearing loss, and at least 700 million will need hearing rehabilitation.
Vitalii Potapchuk, who has been hearing impaired since birth, created the Connect by BeWarned application and added the most necessary functions to his program. ‘People often question, are nervous, and do not want to communicate. I understand the problems and psychology of a deaf person. I face it in practice,’ the developer told MediaSapiens. According to Potapchuk, with the help of his company’s applications, even a person who is entirely deaf will be able to integrate into society by more than 80%.
The main goal is, of course, to help deaf people communicate with society. The application converts voice to text and vice versa. That is, a person with limited hearing needs to write a text that the program will read, and when the interlocutor gives an answer, the application will translate the words into a text version. You can also create many templates in advance to start a conversation or just sentences that are often used.
The application is used by deaf and hard-of-hearing people from around the world. They have the opportunity to choose from several dozen languages, such as English, German, Ukrainian, etc. It has gained particular popularity in the USA, where back in 2016, as a result of testing the platform, 88.9% of users reported that they would recommend the application to friends.
You could often see visually impaired people using sticks in front of them to avoid bumping into some obstacles. But for deaf people, it is difficult to find a device that would signal a danger that cannot be seen immediately. Therefore, with the help of the Sound Monitor function, the application determines dangerous sounds nearby using neural networks. In case of danger (roar, car horn, siren or barking dogs), the program warns the user with vibration and flashing of the flashlight on the smartphone.
In addition to communication and protection, BeWarned also helps to make fun. In the Dance section, we find the following function: through vibration, light signals and pulsation of the visual equaliser, the application allows you to experience musical compositions.
The startup, created in 2015, was also social because all opportunities are accessible for people with deaf disabilities. And for private institutions that want to improve communication with such clients, the paid service ConectPRO has been developed. With its help, it will be easier for deaf people to order in a restaurant, make bank payments or report their health at a doctor’s appointment. It is enough to come to the institution, scan the QR code and communicate with the staff. Moreover, ConnectPRO ensures confidentiality thanks to the mechanism of double encryption — information is available only to the client and the company representative.