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Tech for the Deaf: How to Search for Words in Sign Language

Junto Ohki | TEDxTokyo 2012

For the Deaf, the subtlest of hand movements and aspects can express vast meaning yet convey little to voice-oriented humans. Junto Ohki now stands astride that expression gap like a colossus. As a Keio University freshman, he formed a sign language club on campus despite being a signing novice himself and later produced a signing chorus that performed on NHK’s annual year-end song festival. Inspired, the student entrepreneur saw technology as the way to span the communications chasm, and started a social business called ShuR Group. ShuR now offers remote services for sign language interpretation (VRS), podcast and sign language guide application and other services. When he realized that no complete database of the 126 different sign languages in use existed, Junto also developed, published and now operates the SLinto Dictionary, a cloud-based, Wiki sign language dictionary to which users can upload, edit, and share sign language videos that has earned worldwide admiration.