Mobile Signing Math Dictionary with Mouth Morphemes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Education
Branch: N/A
Contract: H133S120066
Agency Tracking Number: H133S120066
Amount: $249,849.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 84.133S-2
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Vcom3D, Inc.
11474 CORPORATE BLVD STE 140, Orlando, FL, 32817-
DUNS: 799834254
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jason Hurdich
 (407) 737-7310
 jasonh@vcom3d.com
Business Contact
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (Deaf/hh) persons rely heavily on facial movements for communication, whether in American Sign Language (ASL), Signed English (SE), or Spoken English. In ASL, signers add “mouth morphemes”, similar to speech movements, to signs to distinguish concepts that use the same manual sign. Hard-ofhearing persons who use spoken communication, read mouth shapes to distinguish similar sounds. Existing animations of facial expressions and speech fall short of addressing the full range of “visible speech” and mouth morphemes. Our Phase I work shows that users of our animated sign language products want to see animated signing with enhanced mouth movement; and there is evidence that this can enhance comprehension. For this Phase II SBIR project, Vcom3D will develop comprehensive models of mouth movements used in ASL and speech, as well as software tools to animate these movements. To evaluate their effectiveness, Vcom3D and TERC will evaluate the animations in mobile versions of our Signing Math Pictionary (SMP), which provides ASL and SE definitions of math terms for K-3 learners. While the SMP will be the first application of the technology, Phase II research and tools will be broadly applicable to future products using animation to promote inclusion of Deaf/HH students.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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