(Contributed by: Leah C.,Ryan H., Kristina M., Gretchen P.)


Technology:​ Ava

When: ​November ​2016 [1]

Inventor/Company: ​Ava is a team made up of diverse hearing and Deaf individuals located around the world, consisting of the three founders:

  • Thibault Duchemin
  • Pieter Doevendans
  • Skinner Cheng

Where: ​The app was developed at the University of California at Berkeley

How it works:​ Ava is an app for smartphones that can capture speech from multiple people in real time. When a participant is speaking, the app will use the speaker on that person’s phone and send the text to everyone in the group. Ava’s main goal is “bridging the communication gaps between deaf/hard of hearing & hearing people. Ava captions conversations in real time. 24/7 accessible: all you need is a phone.” [2]

Pros:​ The app is free to use, and is able to interpret the real time conversations on your phone with captioning anywhere and anytime. It uses color coding for each person’s name during the conversation. This app is cheaper and less time consuming than using interpreted or captioning services. The app works for both one on one or group conversations.

Cons: ​The basic plan has a limited usage of 5 hours per month, and you have to pay if you want unlimited access. Because you’re always looking at your phone, you might miss some of the facial expressions or additional information from the conversation. This app is not 100% accurate and might “mishear” some words if the participants aren’t speaking clearly or have a heavy accent.


[1]: “Ava 1.0 - 24/7 accessibility for deaf/hearing conversations.” One Accessible Conversation At A Time. Ava, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 02 May 2017. https://blog.ava.me/introducing-ava-24-7-accessibility-775f946e202

[2]: “Communicate beyond barriers.”  University of California at Berkeley. Founder.org. 2014. Web. 04 May 2017. https://founder.org/company/transcense


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