Learn ASL with Grace on Snapchat

Snapchat is a great place to message friends and watch reality show ruins – but do you know it can also be used to teach ASL with more reality? Augmented reality (or AR) is widely used today. Apps like Wayfair use AR to help people buy furniture. RA’s educational models in Google Search help children learn about a variety of topics. Several companies have made (or are in production) their own AR glasses.

Along with brands like Apple, Google and others, Snap has also been quite involved in AR. Snap uses AR for immersive filters on Snapchat, develops new Shows that are fully focused on creating new AR experiences, and regularly finds other ways to expand technology. Today AR on Snapchat can be used for shopping, games, education etc.

One of Snap’s most fascinating ways to use RA is with Snapchat’s special lens that teaches users to speak the language of American Chinese. In a press release from Snap, the company explains that it made the lenses in-store with SignAll, a startup dedicated to making technology for kids. After launching its own Ace ASL mobile application for Android and iOS in early 2021, the company will launch Snap in September 2021 (and again in April 2022) to bring these ASL lenses to life. Here’s a quick rundown of all the different ASL lenses available on Snapchat.

Launched in April 2022, ASL Alphabet is the latest ASL Snapchat lens. It’s also the best place to start. To open the Lens, users choose one of three exercises – including Alphabet, Word Structure and Combining Letters. The ASL alphabet lens displays the letter you need to enter, in the form of a hand, and analyzes the hand to make sure it’s drawing correctly. You can also check out an integrated alphabet to see all the different hand shapes and what you’re learning.

If you’re familiar with the alphabet, the Randomizer Fingerspelling is another fun Snapchat lens. Allows users to type any word and displays guided prompts for each new letter. Some examples are ‘Dragão’, ‘Peixe’ and ‘Pássaro’. Instead of successfully injecting a word, Lente turns into a fun effect based on the word you just solved (e.g. after injecting “dragon” a virtual dragon will start to appear around you).

The Fingerspell username lens is exactly what it looks like. But sometimes Lens, with the help of guided prompts, helps users change their first name to ASL. Each letter is flown to the top of the cloth once signed and virtual confetti disappears to cheer it on along the way. If your name is listed as it is on Snapchat, this is the name you provide.

Last, but certainly not least, Snapchat has the Lens of Allegory Words. This is most like a four-lens game. Users have to type four letter words in a way that random letters appear on the top of the canvas. You have 9 seconds to sign each letter before the next one liquefies, signing the fastest (but even more accurate) possible. Snapchat doesn’t change its focus or anything like that, but it’s a fun way to increase your signing speed.

Embracing the use of a dedicated ASL application is still more useful for a serious learner, these lenses embedded directly into Snapchat are a fantastic way to introduce more people to the world of American Chinese language. If someone has an entire family member, meets a client of Def on the job, or wants to get to know the language better, a basic understanding of ASL is an excellent resource. And thanks to these Snapchat lenses, getting started is easier than ever. Open Snapchat, secure your phone with one of the following codes, and tap the digitize icon at the bottom of the screen. If that doesn’t work, open the Snapchat app, tap the search icon in the top right corner, and search for the name of an ASL lens you want to use.

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