Digi launches sign language mobile app

(Left to Right) BAXS Technology Software Engineer Niezwan Abdul Wahid, Social Innovation (SI) Assistant Vice President (AVP) Jauharatud Dini Ab.Raman, Digis Head of Communications and Sustainability Quah Yean Nie, Malaysia Federation of the Deaf President Mohd Sazali Shaari, Multimedia Developer Zuhairi Zulkiflee and Business Development Atiff Riduan launch the EDDY Sign Language Mobile App Game for speech and hearing impaired.

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd unveiled Eddy, a sign language mobile app designed for the deaf community and anyone looking to learn Malaysian Sign Language (MSL), the result of a collaboration with BAXS Technology.

Created by three 24-year-olds – BAXS' multimedia developer Mohd Zuhairi Zulkiflee, software engineer Niezwan Abdul Wahid, and business development Mohammad Atiff Riduan – the app aims to help users learn MSL in a more interactive way, by incorporating gamification elements and an animated dictionary.

The app’s titular 3D-animated avatar, Eddy, demonstrates all the words in MSL to better assist people unfamiliar with sign language. According to Zuhairi, their ­dictionary currently covers more than 1,000 words.

To make learning MSL more fun especially for younger children, users can also explore the in-app world called Sudy City – which has different locations such as a farm, hospital, market, and cafe, among others – to learn the signs for common items or animals.

For example, the virtual farm is populated by livestock like ­chickens, buffaloes, horses, etc which users can then tap on learn their names in 3D animation. 

According to Zuhairi, more ­features will be introduced in the near future as the app continues to be improved. 

Digi head of communications and sustainability Quah Yean Nie said that the collaboration with Eddy is part of the telco’s ambition to help reduce inequalities among communities. 

“Eddy is an example of how we are doing our part to help make learning sign language simple and easily accessible for everyone, not only for the deaf community,” Quah added.  

Eddy emerged the grand prize winner at Digi’s Challenge for Change season 7 in 2016, winning the grand prize of RM70,000.  

BAXS has since secured additional grants from Agensi Innovasi Malaysia and assistance from the Malaysia Federation of the Deaf to further develop their original idea into the current mobile app. 

The app is now available as a free download on Google Play Store at bit.ly/2z3qwOF

However, iPhone users will have to wait a little longer as the iOS app is expected to be ready next month. 

For more info, visit www.eddy.my.

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