Samsung introduces Good Vibes and Relúmĭno to help provide a strong communication tool to the deafblind and enable people with low vision to see better.
Good Vibes, developed in India, enables the deafblind to have two-way communication with their caregivers and loved ones using their smartphones. The app uses Morse code to convert vibrations into text or voice and vice-versa.
The app has two different user interfaces (UI). One interface has an invisible UI for the deafblind, which uses vibrations, taps, and gestures, while the other has a visible UI, a standard chat interface, for the caregiver. With the deafblind interface, a deafblind person uses a combination of dots and dashes to send their messages. The standard interface allows users to type or use voice to send messages to the deafblind. The text or voice is received as vibrations in Morse code that the deafblind can interpret.
Relúmĭno, which was developed by Samsung employees as part of the Company’s C-Lab program globally, is a visual aid application for people with low vision. It enables them to see images clearer by magnifying and minimizing images, highlighting the image outline, adjusting colour contrast and brightness and reversing colour.
As part of its Citizenship Initiatives, Samsung has partnered with Sense India, a not-for-profit dedicated to improve the lives of the deafblind in the country, to take Good Vibes to the deafblind across the country. Samsung has so far conducted training workshops for Sense India educators and deafblind individuals along with their caregivers in Delhi and Bengaluru. It is now providing Samsung Galaxy A20 smartphones, with Good Vibes installed, to the not-for-profit, which will distribute it to deafblind and their caregivers.
Samsung India has launched a digital video that shows the impact Good Vibes can have on the life of a deafblind individual. The video showcases a deafblind girl who shares a special bond with her mother even though they can’t talk to each other. But when distance comes between them, her mother seeks a new way to communicate with her daughter.
Over the last few months of training with the deafblind and their caregivers, the basic functionality of the app was tested and fine-tuned through their feedback. The notifications, text sizing, duration and interval of vibrations were improved upon after these workshops.
For Relúmĭno, Samsung has partnered with the National Association for the Blind (NAB) Delhi. It will provide Samsung Gear VR and Galaxy Note9 smartphones to NAB Delhi, and will also provide training on how to use them. NAB will use Relúmĭno in classrooms where students with low vision using these devices will be able to see better, helping them improve their learning abilities.
“We are happy we were able to develop technologies such as Good Vibes and Relúmĭno that will help improve quality of life of the deafblind and people with low vision, allowing them to become more aware of the world around them and better integrated with society,” said Peter Rhee, Corporate Vice President, Samsung India.
“Good Vibes is going to create a platform where our society will be able to communicate with deafblind people using smartphones. Samsung is doing exactly what it believes in ‘Do What You Can’t’. At Sense India, we have been working with deafblind for their betterment and development through comprehensive training. Good Vibes will help them connect with a larger number of people around them, something they were unable to do so far,” said Parag Namdeo, Head, Advocacy and Networks, Sense India.
“This app is useful for my son Waqar and he is using it independently now. Waqar’s dream is to become a teacher and this app may help him to communicate and understand another person (his students), which will support him in daily living and learning,” said Nargis Shaikh, mother of Waqar Shaikh, a deafblind student who has received training on Good Vibes. Waqar was able to write and understand whole sentences using Morse code on the Good Vibes app in only a few training sessions.
Good Vibes app can be downloaded from Samsung Galaxy Store and will be made available on Google Play Store for all other Android smartphone users soon.