Isara

Dreambender Indonesia

Indonesia

Organization Type: Private sector | Category:

Project Summary

According to the World Health Organization, there are 364 million deaf people in the world nowadays. If one deaf person, at least has two close relatives, their father and mother, 1 Billion people need to learn sign language. Sign language is one of the hardest languages in the world. It consists of gesture, body language, and facial expression. Besides, sign language doesn’t have a global standard, so it varies in every country. In case of Indonesia. Sign Language has not even been recognized at all, so we don't have proper dictionary. Since many years, main priority within deaf education in the Indonesia has always been for the deaf pupils to become -as much as possible- a hearing person. In order to reach this goal the main focus in deaf education was on learning how to speak and to lip-read.

Based on problem background above, we create a solution called Isara. Isara is an open sign language dictionary and learning application that provides interactive, real-time, and attractive sign language learning through usage of a motion sensor. Users can practice gestures based on video, translate words into different dialects, and interact with an entire e-community of deaf users.

We are recently launching our new mobile apps for Android and iOS to make all of videos of Indonesian Sign Language available for free. Isara Mobile App is a combination between dictionary, social media for sign language user and an incubator for new sign language. With those features, deaf person not only can interact with an entire e-community of deaf users but they also can easily contribute, review and learn new sign.

With Isara Mobile, we wanted to embrace crowd and accomplish two things in our dictionaries: 1. To account for variation as much as possible, and 2. To try to help the process of unification at the same time. We believe this is a great way to scale up Isara and be sustainable in the future.

Background

Dreambender is a tech startup company specializing on developing technologies that could solve world's toughest problems. Dreambender was founded in 2011 from what once was a research group of students in Telkom University Indonesia and registered as company in 2012. The vision of Dreambender is becoming a self-sustained social enterprise that can solve social problem faced by marginalized people in using technology. Since its formation, Dreambender has created many projects for marginalized people such as Isara for deaf people (2011), Sparkins for blind people (2011), and Aksara for remote people(2012).

Justification

According to the World Health Organization, there are 364 million deaf people in the world nowadays. If one deaf person, at least has two close relatives, their father and mother, 1 Billion people need to learn sign language. Sign language is one of the hardest languages in the world. It consists of gesture, body language, and facial expression. Besides, sign language doesn’t have a global standard, so it varies in every country.

In case of Indonesia. Sign Language has not even been recognized at all, so we don't have proper dictionary. Since many years, main priority within deaf education in the Indonesia has always been for the deaf pupils to become -as much as possible- a hearing person. In order to reach this goal the main focus in deaf education was on learning how to speak and to lip-read. This have made serious negative impacts on the development of Deaf pupils.

This project nominated to the ISIF Asia award because…

Isara is the first ever Indonesian Sign Language, not to be confused with Indonesian Sign System. So the existence of Isara itself have made an impact to the acknowledgment of sign language for deaf community in society. By introducing Isara/Indonesian Sign Language to schools and public, the teachers and parents of deaf kids starting to accept Sign Language and even learn Sign Language. When people know more about sign language, The stigma about Sign Language; "language for disable" will disappear over time. With it deaf community will gain their confidence in society to learn and use their own language, and one step away for it to be recognized by Government as official language for the Deaf or even a national language.

Currently Isara has been used intensely in 5 Deaf Organizations and 20 Deaf Schools in 5 Cities (Jakarta, Bandung, Jogja, Magelang and Solo) impacting for more than 500 deaf persons in Indonesia. Now we are on a pos-production of three Sign Language Dialect from outside Java Island. By next year we are planning to distribute outside Java Island, start with Bali, Makasar, and Pekanbaru. Our target is would be national coverage (Indonesia) in 2018

Team

Dreambender team is very inclusive, it consists of 3 Sign Language Expertises (Deaf and Hearing) as Business and System Analyst, 5 Programmers, 5 Multimedia Designers (Deaf and Hearing), and supported by The Biggest Deaf Organization in Indonesia (Gerkatin). Isara is developed with a close partnership with Gerkatin. They are basically the core of Isara where they help us building more than 8000 videos of Isara, and help connecting Isara to deaf community and deaf schools.

Objectives

What if every deaf people in the world can achieve their rights, communicate and receive education in their mother tongue, sing language? That is a big question that Isara want to answer. The vision of Isara project is to provide easy access to sign languages, by creating big and solid e-community for Deaf People that will not only get the benefits of Isara but also support the development of Isara. With that, world will become a much more Deaf-friendly place that serves Deaf People’s Basic Human Rights, Sign Language. Society will become a more inclusive society with smaller and smaller gap will be achieve between Deaf People and Hearing People especially in Education.

Our strategy is to empower the deaf community itself to help us preserve their own languages and dialects. While there is an effort to start making a national sign language, we want to make sure that the process is natural and representative for each deaf groups and communities in Indonesia, since Indonesia definitely is a big country with vary tribes and ethnics. But definitely our main focus now is to preserve their dialects and make it more accessible for people to learn it.

With our mobile application we want to accomplish two things in our dictionaries:
1. To account for variation as much as possible, and
2. To try to help the process of unification at the same time.

We believe this is a great way to scale up Isara and be sustainable in the future.

Technical details and contribution to innovation

Isara is available in most platform of technology; Web, Mobile Apps (iOS and Android), and Windows Application. We uses Web technologies (HTML5, CSS, and PHP), Xamarin Platform to create native app for iOS and Android, also .Net Technology to create Windows App.

For our Web and Desktop Application we utilize Sensor called Kinect. Kinect is a motion sensor device produced by Microsoft that enable user interacts with PC or XBOX 360 using Natural User Interface (NUI). To make it more accessible, we provide two version of Isara: the desktop and web version. The web version of Isara is accessible at http://online.isara.tv

Isara has an innovative utilization of Kinect. In learning section, user can practice the sign based on example video until the sign is perfectly done. User’s movement will be captured by Kinect, and the system will analyze the movement and tell whether the sign is correct or wrong. Besides the sensor, this process is also made possible by our Hidden Markov Model-based movement matching engine. To date, the engine hold 83.72% of matching accuracy.

Utilization of Kinect also makes possible the capture of sign language in form of movement in three-dimensional space. The capture data will be broke down to features such as hand shape, hand location, etc. Then the system will automatically categorize the sign based on its features. This process enable innovative content search, where user can find signs not only from keyword but also from sign features (hand shape, location, movement, etc). Therefore, Isara is the only one automatic bilingual dictionary in the world where its serves both text-to-sign and sign-to-text translation.

To ease the use of Isara, we utilize Natural User Interface using hand gesture and touch- screen so they don’t need to use mouse and keyboard. Therefore, Isara will be accessible even by user with no computer experience.
In addition to the Kinect-based application, Isara also equipped with plentiful of innovative features. As an open dictionary, Isara accommodate any sign languages without diminishing its richness and diversity. It will also create a community of sign language where the people can use and contribute sign language learning content through the crowdsourcing method over the internet. People or communities can become partner or content developer, they will be able to submit verified content or verify other contents. Therefore, contents within Isara will continuously develop along with the development of its user.

We are recently launching our new mobile apps for Android and iOS to make all of videos of Indonesian Sign Language available for free. Isara Mobile App is a combination between dictionary, social media for sign language user and an incubator for new sign language. With those features, deaf person not only can interact with an entire e-community of deaf users but they also can easily contribute, review and learn new sign.

With Isara Mobile, we wanted to embrace crowd and accomplish two things in our dictionaries: 1. To account for variation as much as possible, and 2. To try to help the process of unification at the same time. We believe this is a great way to scale up Isara and be sustainable in the future.

Activities

Completed
1. Worked with 5 Deaf foundations to collect 8000 Sign Words.
2. Worked with Deaf Representations and Sign Linguist to review collected 8000 Sign Words.
3. We went to 5 cities to introduce Isara in 20 deaf schools and 5 deaf organization, and gave them Isara Set (All-in-one PC, Kinect Sensor, and Isara Desktop App)

On going
1. Crowdsourcing to produce new sign through mobile app
2. Crowdsourcing to review new sign through mobile app
3. Showcasing Isara in Technological, Inclusive and Educational Event to introduce Isara Mobile and Isara Online.
4. Receiving feedback and Improving our Mobile Application
5. Distributing Isara DVD to Deaf Communities

Outcomes

The ongoing development of Isara has yielded several impacts in deaf community in Indonesia. Isara has encouraged deaf community to unite to struggle for their basic human rights, sign language. Since its development directly involve the deaf people, they became motivated to contribute maximally for the betterment of deaf community, as well as eagerly taking actions and openly embrace supports from other parties.

Besides, Isara also raises concerns among them about the sign language as their mother language. Deaf people became more concerned about the importance of sign language to be recognized equally as an independent and completed language like others spoken languages. Furthermore, in the process of sign collections, the deaf communities have united to support Isara. Here are some milestone that we had achieved:

1. We finally received permission from Minister of Education to introduce and use Sign Language in Deaf Schools.
2. Sign Language has been accepted and utilized in 20 deaf schools in 5 cities.
3. Isara has been helping 5 Deaf Communities to introduce and teach Sign Language in 5 Cities.
3. The first Indonesian Sign Language with 8,000 Sign Videos.

Publications and dissemination efforts

1. We went to 5 cities to introduce Isara in 10 deaf schools and 3 deaf organization to introduce directly to Deaf Communities and Deaf Student. Here are some documentations,
2. We were involved in Ashoka Changemakers: Makers of More Challenge 2015 to present Isara to reach out Social Entrepreneur Community around the world and won the first place.

Awards and distinctions

1. Winner of Asia Pacific ICT Award 2011 of e-Inclusion/e-Community Category 2. Winner of Mandiri Young Technopreneur 2011 of Information and Communication Technology Category 3. Intel University of California, Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge 2012 Programme Finalist 4. Winner of United Nation's ITU Telecom World 2012 Young Innovators Competition 5. Winner of Digital Empowerment For All in ITU Regional Development Forum 2013 6. Winner of GIST Startup Bootcamp 2014 7. Winner of Ashoka Changemakers: Makers of More Challenge 2015

Website

www.isara.tv

YouTube movie about the project

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq9a64mPNe4

profile or page from the organization or project leader

http://facebook.com/dreambender

profile from the organization or project leader

http://twitter.com/dreambender

profile from the organization or project leader

N/A

Project Representative

Rizky Ario Nugroho

Project Representative on

http://linkedin.com/company/dreambender

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