Making Communication Smarter, Easier, and More Inclusive

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27th February, 2019

While the world continues to get more connected and borderless, communication barriers—whether due to differing languages or hearing difficulties—continue to be a fact of life on the planet. Enabling smoother communication has long been a theme at Mitsubishi Electric, and our Swipe to Talk UI offers a completely new way to convey one’s thoughts in an increasingly diverse world.

The Importance of Communication is Right in Front of You

While people have more methods of communicating at their disposal than they did in the past with tools like smartphones and apps, the most important conversations people have continued to be the ones that take place right in front of them. When visiting a new country, for example, people still ask for directions, or where to find a good restaurant. And the value of a face-to-face meeting to exchange ideas or come to a mutual understanding remains undisputed.

With the increased mobility of different nationalities around the world, and the special needs of people with hearing disabilities, face-to-face communication is not always easy, however. We recognized the importance of this challenge, and looked at ways to make in-person communication even smoother.

This thinking guided the development of our Swipe to Talk UI—also called the "User Interface for Voice-activated Drawing"—a first-in-the-world technology that opens up new dimensions for expression.

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking!

How does the Swipe to Talk UI work? A person first speaks into the microphone of a tablet. Then, thanks to technology that recognizes and processes the words spoken, the user swipes along the tablet screen where they would like their spoken words to appear. Since the words stream directly from the person's fingertip, communication is an intuitive and enjoyable experience, not to mention less stressful than inputting text on a touchscreen or keyboard. The streams of text can easily be combined with illustrations and translated into multiple languages as well.

The Swipe to Talk UI also promises to make conversations with people who have hearing impairments richer and more meaningful. People with hearing difficulties often struggle to follow explanations that involve pointing at diagrams. That's because it's difficult for them to simultaneously read lips and follow hand movements along documents at the same time. This is not an issue with the Swipe to Talk UI because spoken words from the speaker’s fingertip can be displayed right next to text and illustrations on a single screen.

Bringing People of Diverse Backgrounds Together through Technology

Our Swipe to Talk UI represents a whole new communication paradigm that combines text, illustrations and gestures. Accordingly, it could open up a whole new range of communication possibilities. We believe it will help bring people from different walks of life closer together.

In addition to our Swipe to Talk UI, we're focused on the future of communication across our broad range of technologies. We’re working to make 5G mobile communications a reality with our antenna systems and optical devices, for example, and our satellite communication systems will also play a major role in the future of communication.

While communication methods may evolve over the years, our mission to enrich society through state-of-the-art communication technologies remains the same.

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