Digital Craft > Form

STORYSIGN

FCB INFERNO, London / HUAWEI / 2019

Awards:

Gold Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Describe the creative idea

There are 32 million deaf children in the world, and most of them struggle to read. Deaf children can’t learn phonetically, so they struggle to match words with sounds. And 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, many of whom don’t know sign language. To change the story of deaf illiteracy and show the power of Huawei’s smartphone AI, we created the first global literacy platform for the deaf – StorySign.

We designed StorySign to be used by deaf children with their hearing parents to create a seamless, shared learning experience, as it is proven increased parental involvement improves a child’s academic performance.

This revolutionary app shows how AI can make a positive difference, by helping to solve a human problem. And nothing is more human than a parent and child being able to enjoy a bedtime story for the first time.

Describe the execution

StorySign is unique, because it was designed to be used by a parent and deaf child, in conjunction with a physical book.

Testing with families and schools resulted in a seamless user experience. Select the children’s book, hold your smartphone over the words in the physical edition, and StorySign instantly translates them into sign language through an avatar. Words are highlighted in sign language order to make that crucial link between words and signs.

But executing this user experience for StorySign took an alliance of world-class partners over a year.

A free Android app, it was launched across 11 national sign languages, and supported by 11 international deaf charities, to ensure it met the everyday needs of deaf children.

Penguin Random House, the world’s leading publisher, are adding their huge library of books, so deaf children can enjoy the same stories as their hearing friends.

Oscar-winning Aardman Animations created ‘Star’, the most advanced signing avatar ever. Every detail appeals to deaf children, from her age (studies show children learn better from siblings), to her hearing aid (proven to destigmatise deafness).

Huawei’s Kirin AI chip boosts traditional OCR technology. So StorySign is faster and more accurate, can read text at up to 45°, and works in low light for bedtime stories.

StorySign truly brings to life Huawei’s brand promise to ‘push the limits of what is humanly possible’, by showing how AI can change the story of deaf illiteracy for the world’s 32 million deaf children. In fact, StorySign has made such an impact that Huawei are launching the app in China, and adding more books in 2019.

The execution of StorySign brings together considerations, skills and experiences from many different fields in one deceptively simple experience.

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