Two new mobile apps help the deaf 'hear'

Two mobile applications, which help deaf people "hear" and are aimed at improving safety and convenience, were launched on Tuesday.

The first app, Hearing Aide, alerts deaf people of sounds which require their attention.

When a pre-recorded alert sounds, such as a fire alarm, it is detected by the mobile phone with the app.

The phone then notifies the deaf person through vibrations, a visual message and a flash notification.

Users can also record their own sounds, such as that of their doorbells ringing or thunder, to be alerted to these sounds.

The other app, Say It With Signs, "translates" audio messages during a phone call into videos of hand signs on the deaf receiver's mobile phone. This comes in handy for situations in which it may be difficult for the caller to type text messages, such as when the caller is driving.

The apps are available for free on the Google Play app store for Android devices from Friday, and are expected to be available for Apple devices within a month.

Both apps were developed by advertising agency Grey Group Singapore, in collaboration with the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf).

SADeaf president, Dr Christopher Low, said: "These applications are breakthroughs for the deaf community... I have no doubt that our clients will be looking forward to have the apps installed on their phones."