Oct 2016 PSKF

A wearable captioning device called the Q system aims to help those who have suffered from hearing loss experience the full range of sounds that their ears cannot hear. The device conveys the emotions and tone of their conversation partner’s speech, rather than just the text of what is said.

Captioning device device










 At first glance, the device seems to be a stand-in for an interpreter: it displays text using voice recognition software that translates spoken language and transports it to the wearable band via Bluetooth. The text appears on a screen embedded in the palm of the wearable band. However, the Q system’s functions are fairly extensive, and the user can choose from a number of commands using his or her fingers. For example, users can begin recording a transcript of a conversation, or they can turn on “emoticaptioning” which displays the speaker’s “volume, frequency and duration of sound” in a graph, giving a more complete picture of the tone of someone’s speech.

Captioning ideasOther command options include “touch speech,” which uses pressure point combinations to represent sounds and “bookmarking,” which enables the user to return to a particular moment in a conversation at a later time These moments (along with conversation transcripts the user chooses to record, as well as a calendar) are stored on an accompanying app. According to the wearable’s creators, a benefit of the Q system is an increased ability to maintain eye contact during conversations. Another benefit is the lack of necessity to hiring an interpreter, which can be expensive and draw unwanted attention that hinders casual social experiences.