Snapchat has introduced a new feature that helps its users easily communicate with people with disabilities. The new feature called "Deafengers" teaches users how to fingerspell names, practice the ASL Alphabet, and "play games that put new skills to the test," Snapchat said in a blog announcement.
Snapchat says the feature was built in a partnership with SignAll and uses "groundbreaking hand-tracking technology" that was powered in honor of International Week of the Deaf. The company added:
For native signers, in a world where linguistic inequity is prevalent, we believe AR can help evolve the way we communicate.
Deafengers is basically an extension for Snapchat that recognizes gestures using the camera on mobile devices. It includes a three-part training program, which helps users to learn handshapes, to practice fingerspelling, and to memorize handshapes.
Snapchat isn't the only company that is trying to simplify the Web experience for deaf people. In December last year, Meta entered into a partnership with ZP Better Together to enable Video Relay Services (VRS) for its smart video display called Portal.
The partnership allows people to bring an English or Spanish sign language interpreter into conversations 24/7 with hearing people. Unlike Snapchat though, people with disabilities need to apply to get the feature on Meta's special website. The device itself is available in three different versions, with the cheapest one starting at $79.
The update comes just a week after Troy Kotsur, the star of Apple's "CODA," became the first deaf man to win an acting Oscar.
Read also: Snapchat expands features for AR toolkit