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Photo by E. Samarin.

The innovative gadget could be tested in the information center in the arch of the main entrance.

VDNKh tested an innovative speech transcription device for the hearing impaired “Charlie”. The tests took place at the VDNKh info center from March 15 to May 20 as part of the city’s pilot innovation testing program. An artificial intelligence gadget converts speech into text and displays it on the screen of a smartphone or tablet of a hearing impaired person. Anyone could try a new device and leave feedback. In particular, people with hearing impairments and employees of the information center made comments about the work of the new item. Based on the testing results, a list of recommendations was drawn up. The device will be improved taking into account the wishes of the first users and then will be brought to the market.

“The Urban Innovation Pilot Testing Program brings together urban and commercial organizations with companies that develop innovative products. It contains more than a thousand innovative solutions that can be tested at more than 120 Moscow sites. Innovative solutions cover 18 industries, including education, medicine, retail, manufacturing and leisure. Today 66 pilot tests have already been completed, 37 more are underway, “said the head

Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the City of Moscow Alexey Fursin.

He also noted that thanks to the city innovation pilot testing program, more than 300 development companies have the opportunity to test the effectiveness and competitiveness of their solutions in real conditions… They received feedback from users and made their products more in demand, and the sites involved in testing were able to adapt technologies to their own needs and increase business efficiency.

The round handheld Charlie is equipped with highly sensitive microphones and sensors. For correct operation, it must be placed at a distance of two meters from the speaking person. “Charlie” converts speech into text using a special program and displays it on the screen of any gadget. To use the device, a hearing impaired person will need to download a special application to a smartphone, computer or tablet. It works if the gadget has access to wireless Internet.

Charlie enables people with hearing impairments to learn and work remotely. For example, a teacher at an institute can put “Charlie” next to him during a lecture, and hearing-impaired students, having connected to a special program via a link, will be able to read the lecturer’s speech converted into text. In the same way, Charlie allows remote work meetings, conferences and other events.

You can also connect a Braille display to Charlie, an output device designed to display text information in the form of six-point Braille characters for people with visual impairments.

The Moscow Government has been implementing a pilot testing program for innovative solutions since 2019. It enables companies that create and apply scientific advances to test their products at suitable urban or commercial sites. They receive feedback from consumers, this allows entrepreneurs to assess the competitiveness and prospects of their developments and improve them before they are released to the market. The organizations on the basis of which the tests are carried out are the first to get acquainted with promising technologies.

Since 2020, VDNKh has joined the pilot testing program.

Entrepreneurs and developers can connect to the program at website Moscow innovation cluster, leaving an application for participation with a description of the project. After its confirmation and a meeting of entrepreneurs and representatives of the site where the new solution is to be tested, the parties must determine the methodology for testing and assessing the results, prepare documentation and sign the final agreement. For example, among the sites for pilot testing are the Moscow Technopolis, banks, chain stores and other organizations.

The operator of the pilot testing program for innovative solutions is the Moscow Innovation Agency, subordinate to the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development. It brings together representatives of city authorities and businesses, as well as technology companies to jointly solve the problems of creating, testing and implementing innovative solutions in Moscow.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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