What is Table Talks?
Table Talks is a never before seen solution to a huge problem. People’s hearing gets worse as they get older, that’s a fact. However, most of those people still want to participate in normal conversation – and that’s where Table Talks comes in.
Table Talks listens to a conversation, and displays what is being said to those who can’t normally hear it.The idea for Table Talks came from dinner-table conversations with my grandparents. Even though they have hearing aids they can’t always make out what is being said and so they feel left out. By having the conversation displayed for them on their tablet they know what’s going on and can participate fully.
Why is it important?
The biggest problem that many people with hearing problems face is trying to communicate with others, especially in groups – such as around the dinner table. People are often too far away to be heard properly or talk over each other. Once the thread of the conversation is lost, the deaf person cannot participate and feels isolated in the group.That’s where Table Talks comes in. Table Talks as a system bypasses this issue by converting what everyone is saying into text, and displaying it to the person with hearing problems. What each person has said is displayed in order and beside their name so that the person with a hearing problem can read the conversation in real-time and thus participate. That makes them feel included.
How does it work?
Table Talks uses WebKit speech to text to first record what you are saying. It then puts that on the chatroom under your name. The chatroom data is stored in the online databasing platform Firebase and is then synced to everyone in the chatroom.
When Can I get it?
Table Talks is currently in the prototyping stages, but a working prototype has been created. Because of a lack of easy to use speech to text tools, it is difficult to expand to multiple platforms, and WebKit speech to text has given us some problems. However, a prototype version will be available online soon, with an android version coming soon after. IOS and windows app versions would come later, as WebKit speech to text is not yet supported on those platforms.