Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for deaf students, has launched the first tests of new hologram technology for American Sign Language (ASL) in an academic setting.

The school’s Office of the Chief Bilingual Officer partnered with Proto Inc., a maker of hologram devices and platforms, on the deployment of holograms. The school said it is particularly interested in using them for students studying remotely.

“This is a dream come true for me personally and for the deaf community. For so long, we have been eager to utilize ASL and English bilingualism through hologram technology, which allows us to fully express ourselves in ASL, a spatial language.” said Dr. Laurene E. Simms, Gallaudet University’s first Chief Bilingual Officer.

The of holograms was demoed by Gallaudet University and Proto at the Visual-Centric Teaching and Learning (VCTL) Symposium last month. During the event, the partners showed how holograms can be used in various roles, including to beam in speakers live from around the globe.

According to Gallaudet University and Proto, Gallaudet University President Roberta J. Cordano beamed into events during the symposium via the Proto Epic hologram technology and interacted with the audience using ASL. She could see the crowd and react in real time due to “ultra-low latency and the realism of the hologram.” Dr. Simms and other faculty, administrators, and students were also able to become live holograms.

“I fully support integrating innovative technologies like holograms to enhance the learning experience for our students and advance Gallaudet University’s bilingual mission framework,’ said Cordano.

In a press release, Gallaudet University and Proto said the new collaboration “underscores the commitment to innovative and accessible education for deaf students.”

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