March 29, 2011 in Education (E)
[prMac.com] Nazareth, Pennsylvania - BKS Technologies today is pleased to announce iASL 1.1 for iOS, an educational app that allows users to translate words, phrases, and sentences into American Sign Language. The app is based on a custom video dictionary containing over 5,800 signs demonstrated by a deaf instructor. With a sentence of five words or fewer typed in, the app displays the correct ASL grammar structure and plays a sequence of video clips that represents the proper translation. Features include: word lookup by Dictionary or Category; selectable past, present, or future tense; context-sensitive word usage; a conversational phrase bank; and a Favorites library. iASL is completely self-contained and requires no Internet connection.
American Sign Language, ASL, is a complete and natural language used primarily by the deaf and hard of hearing in the United States and Canada. iASL is designed to help users immediately learn to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. As with any language, there are countless ways to convey a specific thought or sentence. The app depicts an ASL native and deaf signer illustrating the proper ASL grammar and language rules, comprised of hand shapes, motion, body orientation, mouthing, and facial expressions. In addition to the words and phrases in its dictionary, iASL can perform fingerspelling. This involves spelling out words by using signs that correspond to each letter of the word. While it is currently impractical to include all the non-manual, facial expressions and postures accompanying translated sentences, iASL provides guidelines for their proper use while signing.
On launch in portrait mode, the app displays an empty text field, where the user enters the English text to translate, and five buttons below: Translator, Dictionary, Categories, and Information. Translator is the default function and allows users to easily enter words, phrases, or sentences using the Apple virtual keyboard. After entry, the app displays the text translated into the grammar structure of ASL. For example, the sentence "I like to watch television" is displayed as a text list of four separate video clips: television, me, like, look at. The user may touch the View button to see all four clips played back in sequence. However, the app recognizes that some of the words (I, like, look at) are context sensitive, which is signified by a blue arrow beside the word in the list. Touching the arrow, the user may choose from the present, past, or future tense of the verbs "like" and "look," as well as "I" as a pronoun versus the letter "I." Clips may be played back one at a time or in sequence, and any clip may be marked "Do not play back."
In Dictionary mode the user may find a word through text entry, scrolling, or the alphanumeric thumb index on the right edge of the page. This is particularly useful when searching for the translation of a single word. The Categories mode lists 29 everyday categories of words in conversational English: ABCs, Animals & Critters, ASL & Deaf Culture, Body, Calendar & Time, Clothing & Accessories, Colors, Emotions, Everyday Expressions, Family, Food & Drink, Getting Acquainted, Gossip & Conversation, Government & Civics, Health, Holidays, Home, Hygiene, Money, Numbers, Occupations, People, Places, Relationships, Religion, School, Social Settings, Sports & Recreation, and Weather. These are particularly useful when learning how to sign within the context of different situations. Finally, the Favorites library allows the user to save commonly used phrases and sentences for immediate access.
* Video dictionary with over 5,800 signs demonstrated by a deaf instructor
* Custom translator providing grammatically correct translations
* Translates sentences up to five words
* Shows the correct ASL grammar structure and plays a video clip of the phrase typed in
* Automatic video sequencing
* Audio and Visual video confirmation
* iASL fingerspells words that are not available in its dictionary
* Topics based on categories
* User can save their favorite words and phrases for quick study reference
* Selectable past, present, and future tense
* Selectable word according to context
* Auto-Correction for spelling
* App works in "Airplane Mode" without WiFi, 3G, or Edge
* Ideal for the beginner or intermediate signer
* Effective & virtually limitless tutorial resource
* Conversational phrase bank
* Structure, vocabulary, and facial expressions vital to proper signing
* Affordably priced
"One of the most extensive ASL databases ever assembled, iASL opens up a world of possibilities for beginning and intermediate users by bringing the world of signing closer to their own world," stated company owner Bill Hynes. "The iASL app encourages users to start communicating immediately, affordably, and effectively."
* iPad compatible
* iOS 3.2 or later (iOS 4 tested)
* 790 MB
Pricing and Availability:
iASL 1.1 for iPad is $7.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Education category. iASL 1.1 for iPhone and iPod touch is $1.99; and iASL 1.1 Lite for iOS is free. Review copies are available upon request.
Located in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, BKS Technologies, LLC was founded by Bill Hynes in March 2006. Their mission is to provide cutting edge technology that will enhance a user's educational experience, thus making learning easy and Fun! Copyright (C) 2011 BKS Technologies. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.