July 29, 2022 – XRAI Glass, a provider of augmented reality (AR) software solutions, has recently announced the launch of the public preview of its new technology that allows users who are deaf or suffer from hearing loss to read speech in real-time through closed captioning using a pair of AR smart glasses, also named XRAI Glass.
The XRAI Glass software converts audio into a subtitled version of conversation which will then appear on the glasses screen. The software’s sophisticated voice recognition capabilities can identify who’s speaking and the company noted that it will soon have the power to translate languages, voice tones, accents, and pitch.
In order to deliver its solution, XRAI Glass has formed a strategic partnership with consumer-ready AR glasses company Nreal. The Nreal Air glasses, which tether to a mobile phone device, are what users who are hard of hearing will be viewing conversations through.
Peng Jin, co-founder of Nreal, said: “We’re excited to see Nreal Air put to work in an inventive use case with benefits for users. Our company was founded to bring consumer-ready AR experiences to everyone, everywhere. So, we’re delighted that XRAI Glass is using Nreal AR glasses to empower deaf people in their everyday lives.”
The glasses will be available online to purchase from UK network provider EE for an upfront cost of GPB £10, then GBP £35 per month for 11 months for EE customers, or at EE stores nationwide for non-EE customers for GPB £399.99. The company noted that there will be no cost for the software during the public preview and the price following the public preview will be based on feedback from pilot users.
Steve Crump, Founder and Chair, DeafKidz International, said: “As a profoundly deaf person myself, I was blown away by this technology. When I tried on the glasses, I was astonished – real time subtitles that enable you to engage and participate as never before. I see XRAI Glass as a hugely positive force, and I can’t wait to work with the team to help bring this to life.”
Mark Atkinson, CEO at the UK’s Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), said: “This is a great example of the positive difference innovative technology can make for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. At RNID we are excited about the potential for technology to transform the lives of our communities.”
According to XRAI Glass, the addressable market for its software is vast, with 12 million adults in the UK affected by hearing loss greater than 25 dbHL (decibels Hearing Level). This number is set to increase to 14.2 million adults by 2035, according to RNID.
XRAI Glass stated that it does have plans for a wider rollout across other major devices and networks in the coming months, as well as ambitions to reach other markets where the software could prove helpful, including hospitality, law enforcement and education.
Commenting on the launch, Dan Scarfe, XRAI Glass CEO, said: “This is a momentous day for our team. We are so proud of the ability this innovative technology has to enrich the lives of people who are deaf and have hearing loss, so that they can maximize potential. Whether that means being able to have a conversation while continuing to make dinner or keeping a conversation going while walking with a friend.”
For more information on XRAI Glass and to register for the public preview, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: XRAI Glass / Nreal
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.