Highschool Student Invents Real-Time Closed Captioning Glasses For The Deaf


16-year-old Daniil Frants has been named to New York City’s “10 Under 20: Young Innovators to Watch” list after developing a system designed to help people with hearing disabilities communicate more effectively by streaming closed captioning of real-time conversations through a headset display. He is joined by a group of students recognized for achievements in microtube production, robotics,  seizure detection sensors for epileptic patients, as well as several impressive apps, including one that creates an anonymous school-based platform where students can voice concerns and others, including teachers and administrators, can weigh in with advice. 2015 is the inaugural year for the 10 Under 20 award. It was presented by the New York City Economic Development Corporation at the annual CE Week, New York’s largest consumer electronics conference.

Called the “Live-Time Closed Captioning System,” Frants’ design is relatively straight-forward. A headset containing a microphone, computer processor, and visual display captures audio from everyday conversations, converts that audio into text using voice recognition software, and then presents the scrolling text across the display for the wearer to read. Frants says that the idea for the design came about after the initial Google Glass launch. "A lot of people were wondering if Google Glass could be used for something like this," he explains, “and it turned out that Google Glass wasn’t really optimal for this, so I decided to make an alternative system which was dedicated to this function." To accomplish this, Frants and his team had to teach themselves about both electronics and computer programming.

Award recipients each received a special 10 Under 20 plaque, as well as a tech awards package for themselves and their school, valued at $1,000. Moving forward, Frants plans to launch an Indiegogo campaign to pay for manufacturing and engineering experts to help him optimize the electronics for better performance and create a more comfortable headset.

After graduating from the Dwight School in New York’s Upper West Side, Frants reports that he hopes to go to MIT, a fitting destination for one of New York’s inaugural “Young Innovators to Watch.”

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