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1st Place Winner 2015-UNICOM Kit

UNICOMM Kit- LoS Awards Challenge 2015

Project Owner: Marvin Ngesa
University: Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
Project name: Unicomm Kit

people face a lot of problems especially when it comes to communication not just through gesture but also voice recognition. Among the groups of people that face this challenge are the hearing impaired who mostly encountering communication barrier between them and the hearing people. In such situations, the hearing people have to use sign language to communicate and since a good number of people neither know nor understand it, it makes them feel isolated. Several people have tried to solve this problem especially through sign language charts and signs but it does not absolutely solve the problem. Some take sign language courses but this takes a lot of time and thus is not the quickest solution to the problem. This prevents several individuals from giving their utmost productivity in the society.

What if they could learn by themselves in their rooms and compounds?
In the current wave of the Internet, we have come up with Unicomm, a wearable sensor glove that detects hand gestures and translates sign language into words and audio. The same kit also converts speech into words. Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. Unicomm aims to involve everyone, anyone, to enable a universal communication. It aims to use Kenya sign language to enable people to express their thoughts and convey messages despite all their challenges.

Target Market
Unicomm kit targets the whole human race and not just the hearing impaired community. We dream of a point where people who can verbally communicate, could just decide to use their hands to communicate whenever they are tired of talking without the slightest problem. This gives our kit a much broader market.
Unicomm kit may also be used in public places, for communication to make services available to all e.g. Hotels, airports, banks, schools, prisons, government offices, public events and many more.
We specifically target sign language instructors, sign language interpreters, sign language enthusiasts, and everyone.

Existing/potential partners
Kenya Institute of Sign Language Education (KISE), Kenya Sign Language users.

Social impact
This project is for humanity’s sake. Unicomm will enable the dumb to deliver lecturers, give memorable speeches and even govern any institution with no hitches whatsoever since the language barrier has been bridged. It will also enable sign language enthusiasts and learners to easily and quickly learn sign language. Sign language instructors will also have an easier time delivering on their job cutting down on several hours which may be used to teach these people a lot of other things. It will go a long way in solving the critical issues that face the verbally impaired, and is what may be described as a visionary initiative.

 We require funds to be used in finishing the prototype and making the product.

The Unicomm kit is a key tool for communication for it will bridge the gap between the hearing and the hearing impaired. It will make public services and communication easily accessible to all. The kit is designed and manufactured locally and thus the product will be affordable to all. The system also uses 5V rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It is can be charged with solar therefore can be used all over the country at any time. Allowing the hearing-impaired to communicate efficiently means more connections, more innovations and more entrepreneurship.
Project objectives

  • To enable a universal communication between anyone and everyone despite any challenge or impairment.
  • To make sign language an option to those who can speak and even in places where deaf people are not involved.
  • To facilitate easier teaching and learning of sign language in school and at home. Unicomm will offer a learning aid for all those interested in learning Kenya sign language.
  • To promote opportunity for the hearing impaired sign language enthusiasts and anyone.
More jobs to the hearing Impaired as they can now communicate without any barrier.
  • To enable the hearing impaired to rise to their full potential and become more independent and productive members of the society.
  • To sustain the growing need of people in public offices to at least learn basic sign language.
  • Unicomm kit will enable full (maximum) participation of everyone, and when these people can communicate freely in their offices they will be more productive and as a result, tremendously improve their lives. It is only then, by using Unicomm that we will truly achieve vision 2030.

Irene Ng'etich, Ngesa Marvin and Ngige Gachara



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