Snapchat Adds AR Sign Language Lenses

Learn how to sign common phrases

Snapchat has introduced new lenses and stickers to help teach users sign language. 

The new augmented reality (AR) lenses—available on Tuesday—teach users how to sign their name, as well as common words like "love," "hug," and "smile," according to the app’s blog post. The new features coincide with this week’s International Week of Deaf

Someone showing a sign language sign in an outdoor setting.

Burak Karademir / Getty Images

There are also new Bitmoji stickers you can add to your snap conversations that depict commonly signed words. 

"No matter where you live, what your background is, what you look like, or how you communicate, we want all members of our community to feel as though our products are made for them—and that includes native signers," Snapchat said in its post. 

“We look forward to learning more from our community as we strive to continuously improve the experience for everyone on Snapchat.” 

Snapchat said the new features were designed with help from employees with hearing challenges at the company, as well as SignAII’s artificial intelligence technology. The tech recognizes and translates American Sign Language language using AR filters. 

Two people having a conversation using ASL.

Igor Alecsander / Getty Images

Aside from Snapchat, other tech companies have been incorporating and prioritizing. For example, earlier this year, Apple introduced impressive new accessibility features on its devices. Some of these new features include support for bi-directional hearing aids, so users who use them can have a hands-free phone and FaceTime conversations.

Other platforms adding more accessibility features include Instagram automatically adding captions on Stories with a simple sticker and Xbox adding speech-to-text and text-to-speech abilities to the Xbox Party Chat.

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