Superstar

EasySMS Turns Messages into Speech and Symbols to Help the Illiterate

By: Katherine Vong - Published: • References: design.epfl.ch and springwise
According to the people behind EasySMS, there are 800 million illiterate people in the world who can speak a language but can't read or write. Thus, when these people receive a text message, all they see is a jumble of meaningless symbols. But EasySMS solves this problem: it translates text messages into sounds and images.

The EasySMS is a Windows 7 app created by students from Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. It translates messages by breaking them down and either reading the entire SMS aloud to the user in a synthesized voice or in parts so that the user can hear certain words and even use some of the words in their own response. The app also has a variety of images and symbols that can be used in a text.

The EasySMS app is a must-have in today's phone-prevalent world. According to the app's creators, many poor countries -- where the number of illiterate people is high -- are getting mobile phones and better phone coverage, which means an app like this will be useful in foster better mobile communication.