On 31st October, three students from Multimedia University, including two who are hearing-impaired, won the 2017 Innovative Entrepreneur Competition for the Higher Education Minister’s Cup through their book-into-sign-language translation application called Signread.
The two hearing-impaired students, Mohd Farhan Kamaraman, 26, and L. Mutharasapan, 28, who are pursuing their Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the Faculty of Computing and Informatics, produced the application with their friend, Marion St. Joan Galid, 25, from the Faculty of Management.
The three won a cash prize of RM10,000 and a trophy, which were presented by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh at the closing of the Student Entrepreneurship Month at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Marion said currently the Signread had translated two children’s story books to the Malay and English sign languages. “Signread aims to help hearing-impaired children to read, since they are only exposed to the Malay language at the age of 13 and English language at the age of 18,” she added.
To use the application, users only needed to download the Signread application and scan the book pages on their smartphone to watch the (pre-recorded) videos of the sign language which were translated by Mutharasapan. The group did not rule out the possibility of Signread to translate other reading materials such as novels if they have enough funds.
Congratulations to the three for making a very useful tool that would enrich society!