Brawijaya University students create Difodeaf, a sign language translator app

204
Anjas Pramono student of Computer Science faculty from Brawijaya University (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO, Jakarta – Nowadays digital era development encourages Indonesian students to be more productive through innovations later expected to be useful for social needs. As Informatics Students of Computer Science Faculty (Filkom) from the University of Brawijaya (UB), this group created a Dictionary for Deaf (Difodeaf) app, which is a verbal language translator into sign language. One of the Difodeaf crew, Anjas Pramono, said that the application was aimed to support quite a large number of disabled people in the surrounding environment.

“In developing countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and India, the number of people with disabilities is quite high and the lack of public support for the disabled has impacted on their isolation and limited their day-to-day activities,” Anjas pointed out.

The presence of disabled people around us demands special attention, given the large number of such people with disabilities in Asian countries. Deaf and speech-impaired citizens are often encountered in Indonesia. Their limitation in communicating is a serious problem, especially since their only chance to communicate with outside world, sign language, is not yet understood by society at large.

Based on this case, three 2016 class students from the Informatics Engineering Program (Prodi TIF), Computer Science Faculty, University of Brawijaya (FILKOM UB), Anjas Pramono, Jauhar Bariq Rachmadi and Avisenna Abdillah Alwi, have developed a perfect solution. Described in more detail by Anjas, Difodeaf is an Android-based mobile phone app that can bridge smooth communication between normal people and people with hearing or speaking disabilities. This app will help users learn sign language. Difodeaf comes with features that can change English or Indonesian words into illustrated images in sign language.

More specifically, Anjas said, the image displayed will be shown in a ‘.gif’ formatted file. Hence, sign language users would have the opportunity of playing their part well. “Our application not only translates simple words but also contextual sentences,” he said.

Difodeaf translation basis is based on American Sign Language (ASL), so the sign language in this application can be understood by a wider community, not limited to locals or Indonesian nationals only. This app will continue to be developed by adding new vocabulary. In addition, this app will be downloaded for free on Google Play store.

“With the presence of Difodeaf, communication limits between normal people and deaf or speech-impaired people can be resolved, and this application can hopefully inspire the public to be more aware of disabled people,” he said.

Difodeaf app has also brought Anjas together with the team to win awards on an international stage. Silver medals were awarded at the Crown International Invention, Innovation and Articulation (I-IDEA 2018 CROWN) held at MARA Technological University, Malaysia on April 26th, 2018. In addition to Anjas Pramono, other members of the Difodeaf developer are Jauhar Bariq Rachmadi and Avisenna Abdillah Alwi. (aldo)