Sunday, April 2, 2023

Digi: Learn Basic Malaysian Sign Language with EDDY

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and BAXS Technology recently launched EDDY (Edugame & Dictionary for Deaf), a sign language mobile app for the deaf and their family members.

digi eddy

EDDY is a mobile application that aims to help make it easy for the deaf community, teachers, family and society to learn Malaysian Sign Language, or Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM). The app is the winner of Digi’s Challenge for Change (DigiCFC7), where the team walked away with RM70,000 in cash to further develop their solution back in December 2016.

While there are various apps to learn sign language, EDDY localises and gamifies signing to provide a more fun and easy way of learning for everyone, especially children, it said. Anchored by a 3D animation figure called EDDY, the mobile app has two key features; Sign Language Animated Dictionary which covers a total of 1,000 words with smooth and realistic 3D sign language animation. The other feature is the Sign Language Educational Game, allowing users to learn through exploration of Sudy City, by maneuvering through the different locations and entering different scenes in order to learn the sign language for objects within the scene.

Moving forward, EDDY will also feature artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to serve as an intuitive communication tool by translating auditory waveforms into sign language.

Through DigiCFC, Digi said it worked with BAXS Technology to develop the idea of making signing more accessible for everyone and mentor EDDY from the early development stage up to the market launch now. Digi was responsible for identifying product-fit, go-to market strategies, opportunities to participate in global pitches, catalysing strategic partnerships, media opportunities as Digi strongly believes in bringing value to the app beyond monetary rewards or gains.

Quah Yean Nie, Digi’s Head of Communications and Sustainability said, “Our ambition is to help reduce inequalities among communities, and we are doing this by enabling programmes that supports inclusion. EDDY is an example of how we are doing our part to help make learning of sign language simple and easily accessible for everyone, not only for the deaf community. We envision sign language just like any other languages that can be learnt to bring communities together to encourage seamless communication, interaction and engagement.

There are currently around 40,000 registered deaf in Malaysia and EDDY, co-developed by BAXS Technology and Digi, supported by Agensi Innovasi Malaysia (AIM) and Malaysia Federation of the Deaf (MFD) hopes to make the learning of sign language an enjoyable experience, specifically for deaf children.

To date, the app has been piloted and tested with MFD’s hearing impaired students, and garnered the organisation’s endorsement. There are also on-going discussions with the Ministry of Education to pilot EDDY as a complementary teaching tool for teachers in special hearing impaired schools, beginning with primary students.

The app will be updated at regular intervals with revised product features and improvements. Digi will also continue to play an indirect role as a mentor and to bridge EDDY into relevant areas of opportunity to expedite the growth of EDDY.

For more information on EDDY, visit the EDDY website.

The EDDY sign language mobile app is now available for download at the Google Play Store and will be available on the IOS App Store in a month’s time.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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