China Commission of Promotion of Publicity

iFLYTEK Launches an Accessible Communication Solution for the Hearing-impaired

On January 8, iFLYTEK launched an accessible communication product called “iFLYHEAR” to assist those with hearing impediments bridge the communication gaps present and allow for more opportunities for engagement with the community.

At the launch ceremony of a partnership between the China Commission of Promotion of Publicity for the Undertakings of Chinese Disabled Persons, iFLYTEK, the Accessibility Environment Research Committee, and the Accessibility Voluntary Service Committee, the joining parties pledged to work towards achieving barrier-free communication for those with hearing disabilities. The attendees of the ceremony discussed the possibility of integrating technologies like 5G communication and artificial intelligence to develop accessibility, smart, digital, and comprehensive means of communication for the disabled.

China Commission of Promotion of Publicity

According to a recent national survey, there are roughly 27.8 million people in China with varied-levels of hearing losses with 90% of this figure having notable communication difficulties. In many situations, traditional solutions like artificial cochlea and professional training fail to adequately assist those with hearing loss, making it difficult to perform basic daily tasks like answering phone calls without seeking assistance from others.

However, iFLYTEK’s iFLYHEAR supports automatic recognition of 180 phone types and can answer important calls, such as for delivery services and appointments. Meanwhile, the product assists those with hearing impairments in answering phone calls on their own. Specifically, the iFLYHEAR recognizes and transcribes what the caller says into words for the user to read on their screen. Then the hearing-impaired can type on their phones to give answers, with recommended terms provided to cut their time of typing.

Next, the typed texts are converted into speeches for those can’t hear or speak either. The iFLYHEAR is able to analyze the tones of users and then replicate a similar voice for them to better express themselves, making communication easier in various scenarios. By applying the iFLYTEK’s cutting-edge voice replication technology to innovation in speech recognition, the company substantive progress has been made in rehabilitating the speaking capacity of those with hearing disabilities.

The iFLYHEAR will be provided to the hearing-impaired for free starting on February 1, 2022. Being compatible with mobile smart phones and wearable devices, the smart assistant is set to be a highly accessible means to meet the present communication and will be promoted the top three telecommunication carriers in China. Additionally, iFLYTEK will work to further enhance the capabilities of the iFLYHEAR by including features like video conference and audio book production to allow for more creative use of the system.

Additionally, iFLYTEK has developed an accessible video call platform based on its multi-mode recognition technology that can interpret sign language and lip movements based on the system’s voice replication and intelligent noise reduction technologies. as well as the 5G video call capacity of telecoms carriers. Through this technology, those who can’t hear or speak can have their sign language converted into audios and can read the transcribed texts from the interlocutor’s response. In this way, smooth communication will be achieved and maintained between the two sides.

While there is still more progress needed to implement accessible communication solutions that lead to barrier-free communication, iFLYTEK will work continue to work towards the full realization of AI solutions in aiding the hearing impaired. In the meantime, the company will work with Chinese telecoms carriers and other partners to contribute to charity programs and develop technological innovations so that all groups will may fully integrate into society and equally enjoy the conveniences brought by the era of 5G communication.

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