Hand Talk

09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure10 Reduced inequalities
  • Year: 2012
  • Award: World Summit Award
  • Category: Inclusion & Empowerment
  • Producer: Ronaldo Tenório, Thadeu Luz
  • Country: Brazil
  • URL:

Hand Talk is an app for mobile devices that receives data and translates it to Libras, the sign language of the deaf communities of urban Brazil.  Hand Talk works with three basic sources: audio, texts or images. When a voice is captured by the mobile phone, the app converts the sound to sign language with the help of a 3D avatar who appears on the mobile screen. This feature is useable in conversations, lectures and many other settings. With the text feature, the deaf user can copy a message received from a local carrier or a website, paste it into the app and have it translated to Libras. The image feature can be used to translate the content of magazines, newspapers, books or signs. The user photographs a phrase or words and the app converts it to Libras. The system’s API may be used on other operating systems and platforms, making content accessible to people that do not know any spoken language. Potential content includes anything from news or government websites, bank terminals and other financial institutions, to supermarkets and museums. Hand Talk is an outstanding social inclusion tool allowing people with disabilities in Brazil to participate more fully in daily life.