Logan Apple has won the Congressional App Challenge for the tenth district with Barbara Comstock as the representative. Logan’s app, iSight, helps people who are mute communicate with those who don’t know sign language. According to Apple, “It is the world’s first real time mobile sign language to English translator. It reads your hands essentially and puts them into English on screen to form sentences, making it easy to communicate with deaf people.”
The Congressional App Challenge aims to get high school students more involved in learning how to code by creating their own apps. This competition highlights the value of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and encourages students to expand their knowledge in those fields.
Logan was introduced to the idea of entering by a friend, since he already had the idea for iSight figured out. He used the his time to expand on his original idea and make iSight more user friendly. “A lot of the changes focused on making it more practical, more efficient and more effective. Before it was a client server system so you had the app on your iPad or iPhone but you had to connect to an external computer in order to use it. This really limited it because you had to have internet access and it would have to be good internet access. I’ve condensed it now so it works negatively on your iPhone and it works anywhere in the world in translation to real time. It also does motion tracking and it can translate over 300 signs.”
In 2016 over 2,150 students nationwide entered their ideas. The winners will get to meet the members of Congress and have their apps put on display in the Capital building. Amazon Web Services also donated $50,000 to be divided among the winners. “I’m really looking forward to trying to make this the standard for American sign language translation, so that people can use in their everyday lives. Just helping deaf people communicate better and bridging the gap that exists is my main goal.”