Globalization and economic distress in poverty-stricken countries has brought more immigrants to the United States. In this mix are many people who not only do not know how to speak English, but also do not possess the basic elementary skills of reading and writing. X is a communication system that responds to this by making the user feel comfortable communicating in another language by not having to speak any words and relying entirely on visuals. Many of these people rely on the assistance of friends or family members to communicate. X allows these assistants to create a profile and record images for the users’ own daily situations and interactions in which they need assistance communicating. Image recognition software converts these images to audio on the end of the recipient.
This project was inspired by my own experience with my uncle who has lived in the United States for about twenty years and hasn’t been able to successfully pick up reading and writing in English and Spanish. Back at home in El Salvador, he was one of the unlucky few in his family who were put to work instead of in school at a young age.
This daily occurrence of assisting him with index cards and in person has inspired me to explore solutions to this problem for my senior thesis. My hope is that it would not only help users like my uncle associate images with English, but also help foreigners with low or no literacy associate and recognize letters and words through repeated use of the library of items and interactions they need assistance with on a daily basis.