Hey guys my name is kunal batra and I am the founder of Deaftel, a new type of phone service for the deaf. Now I am going to go out on a limb here and say that either all of you or almost all of you will not be users of my product. So before I go on any further I just want you to imagine this scenario. Your calling your husband/wife/a loved one, a doctor or a lawyer. However instead of speaking with them directly, your talking to somebody at a call center( could be male or female). Whatever you say, they relay to the person your calling. And then the same applies in the other direction. Whatever your loved one says gets spoken to the person in the call center than this relay operator speaks the message back to you. This happens until the conversation is over. However the conversation is only over until you speak a certain special word that the relay operator recognizes and then will disconnect the call. There is no true sense of privacy. However privacy is not the only issue.
There is also a complexity with the system. If you wanted to call a deaf individual you can’t dial his or her number directly. You have to call the relay operator. So if you live in the state of new york you dial 711 which connects you with the relay operator service. Then you provide the relay operator with certain pieces of information such as the number of the deaf person you want to call, their name and your name. Also every time someone is done talking they have to either say “Go Ahead” or the deaf person has to type it if using text relay. And finally when the conversation is over either the deaf or hearing person has to say or type the words Signing Off.
So with Deaftel, I want to transform the current method of making phone calls to be as close as possible to how you or do it on a daily basis. A hearing user can directly dial the deaf users phone number. Deaftel converts the voice of the hearing user into text and sends that to the deaftel users smart phone. The text response of the Deaftel user is then converted into voice(male or female based on the gender of the deaftel user) and then played for the hearing user. No special codewords needed. The Deaftel user will be able just purchase a phone plan based on how many minutes he or she expects to use from our website just like a hearing person does from att, verizon or sprint and will be billed on a monthly basis. I use the image of the robot shown in the slide to emphasize the fact that there is no person sitting inbetween your phone call which makes for a more private conversation.
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2 Current Problem• Imagine calling a loved one, Doctor, Lawyer• Can’t speak directly• Complex Procedure (special code words)• No privacy• 16% of the worlds population currently suffer from profound hearing loss that hinders their communication. – Phonak.com
3Current Calling Procedure Step 2 Step 3 Step 5 Step 6 Step 1 Caller provides the The Relay Operator Step 4 The Relay Operator When the partiesCaller dials 7-1-1. A relay operator with Both the caller and are ready to end dials that will type everythingRelay Operator will the number along the called parties the call, the caller number, announce they hear back toanswer the call by with other should use "GA" or or call recipient s to the called the TTY user, and saying "New York information such as "Go Ahead" when uses "SK" or party that they are voice everythingRelay," and his/her their name, the they are finished "Signing Off" to receiving a relay the TTY user types Operator ID #. person they are typing/talking. close the call. to the called party. calling, etc. conversation. (Source: www.nyrelay.com)
4 About Deaftel Deaftel is a phone service that lets the Deaf, Hard of Hearing & those with speech impediments talk to anyone over the phone. Voice TextAny Hearing User Deaftel Smartphone Deaftel Robot User
5History of Deaftel Contest Entry Began as a contest entry for“I am profoundly hearing impaired. I do not the “Anything Goes” Twilio Programming Contest.sign. …Many places like doctors offices will notuse a relay/tty service to call me aboutappointment changes. They just wait till I drive Emails2 hours then tell me there that my While working on my previous startupappointment was changed…I am desperate!” Socialroots.com, I just kept receiving emails from the deaf community asking to use this service. -R Deaftel Signup By the end of the first day I had a little over 500 users signup showing their interest. There was no advertising other than creating a Facebook and Twitter page.