Huawei’s Masterpiece of an App

A recent visit to the cinema changed the way one of #TeamCoco looks at mobile phones! Up until recently one of #TeamCoco was an Apple user (for 15 years) but needed a change, so invested in a Huawei Pro 20 Lite: excellent for photos, long battery life, and generally just a really nice phone.

So far so good, it took a little while to get used to the subtle differences but with no serious difficulties, it was all-in-all a really easy change-over from Apple to Android.

Anyway we digress, back to the cinema and our budding writer. She booked tickets at Vue to see ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’, a great follow-on kids movie from ‘Wreck It Ralph’, filled with plenty of laughs and a few tears along the way. However, the main tears were shed before the movie even started, when an ad changed her perception of mobile phones forever.

She hadn’t realised that the movie was going to be subtitled for the deaf and hard of hearing, as the advert prior to the movie was advertising a brand new innovative app for the deaf and hard of hearing by, you guessed it, Huawei. The app is called StorySign.

StorySign was created with experts and charities from the deaf community to ensure it is a genuinely useful tool. The app features a friendly avatar, Star, who guides children and parents through a selected children’s book, translating it into perfect sign language and signing along to the story in real time.

There are approximately 32 million deaf children globally, and many struggle to learn to read, often due to a lack of resources bridging sign language and reading. New research from Huawei has indicated that parents of deaf children in the UK spend more time reading to their children each day than parents of hearing children.

Pioneered by Huawei and featuring the beloved book, ‘Where’s Spot’ by Eric Hill at launch, StorySign is available for free in the UK – just in time for Christmas, a time when quality family moments are at the forefront of people’s minds. Developed with an understanding of sign syntax to ensure a seamless translation and user experience, StorySign helps to open up the world of books to deaf children and their families; users simply hold their phone up to the words on the page and avatar Star signs the story as the printed words are highlighted. This helps parents and children to learn to read together, and at their own pace.

“At Huawei, we believe in the power of AI and that technology can make a positive difference in the world”, comments Andrew Garrihy, CMO Huawei Western Europe. “We created StorySign to help make it possible for families with deaf children to enjoy an enriched story time. We hope that by raising awareness of deaf literacy issues, people will be encouraged to donate to or support one of the fantastic charity partners we are working with across Europe.”

StorySign launched with a film by Academy Award® winning director Chris Overton and starring seven-year-old actress Maisie Sly, both of whom worked on Oscar®-winning short film The Silent Child. The StorySign film sees a young girl struggling to read with her father on Christmas Eve. Later that night when she sneaks downstairs to peak at her presents, she is stunned to see Santa who hands her a book for a gift. Upon realising that the little girl is deaf, Santa begins to sign the book to her and in that moment, she is the happiest little girl in the world, as he helps her enjoy the magic of story time.

StorySign can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery in 10 markets across Western Europe. Huawei worked with local charities under the European Union of the Deaf, publishing partner Penguin and animation specialists Aardman to develop the app.

And now, as a result of booking tickets for a subtitled movie by mistake our #TeamCoco writer has fallen in love with Huawei and is trialing a new model of Huawei, the Mate 20 Pro as it’s got a Leica Triple Camera which takes perfect shots, ideal for all the travel writing that she does every day.

So, thanks to Huawei for helping with something as beautiful as reading and for enlightening one of our #TeamCoco writers to a new way of using a mobile phone!

To watch the film and learn more about StorySign, simply visit StorySign online.

Rachel McAlley

Rachel is currently a UK travel writer and beauty writer for House of Coco, she spends most of the week locked away in her country garden studio watching the world whizz by, and most of the weekend whizzing around the UK!

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