SignAll Mission

SignAll is a group of passionate developers and designers dedicated to finding game-changing solutions that enable spontaneous communication between the Deaf and hearing. This results in more opportunities for connection, personal / professional development, and seamless integration between the Deaf and hearing.

Our Story

SignAll is a spin off of Dolphio, a leading software development company in Budapest, Hungary;  founded by Zsolt Robotka and Janos Rovnyai.

Translating sign language has long been seen as the ultimate computer vision challenge, and when the first Deaf employee was added (Hungarian / Persian software engineer), the team was further inspired to create a solution for automated sign language translation.

What started as a technical challenge and passion project had evolved into a formal company.  In combination with evolving technology and the innovation of a few passionate mathematicians and engineers, SignAll was able to produce a proof of concept that would mark the starting line in a series of successes.

SignAll_Team
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Located in Budapest, Hungary, the team hand-picked the best linguists available specializing in both spoken and signed languages. They also realized they would need ongoing input from the Deaf community.

Though different sign languages exist throughout the world, American Deaf culture is one of the most developed, and ASL is used more universally than other signed languages.  It was an obvious choice to focus on ASL for developing and testing the technology. SignAll brought on a few more Deaf team members (this time from the US), and hearing team members were actively learning American Sign Language.  

In 2017, a strong partnership was forged with Gallaudet University (GU), the world’s leading university for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (located in Washington D.C.).  GU has been instrumental in moving the technology forward, providing guidance, and opening doors for SignAll.

Fast forwarding to today, SignAll 1.0 is currently being piloted in the market throughout the US.  SignAll has team members in both Budapest (Hungary) and Arlington, VA (United States). The team has expanded to 25, a truly diverse team who collectively represent 7 different native languages: English, Hungarian, German, Russian, American Sign Language, Hungarian Sign Language, and Persian Sign Language.

SignAll_Team

Leadership Team

Zsolt Robotka

Co-founder / CEO

Zsolt Robotka
Co-founder / CEO

Works diligently to establish a vision for the company and planning the strategic steps to achieve it.

Has a solid track record of success as CEO of parent company Dolphio, and was noted as one of the 100 challengers of New Europe, according to Financial Times.

A Mathematician by trade. Loves animals (especially dogs), food, traveling, and learning about different cultures. Also likes watching good documentaries and SNL.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, Beginner ASL

János Rovnyai

Co-founder

János Rovnyai
Co-founder

A serial entrepreneur, building not just companies out of the blue but great teams that make them successful. Dealing not only with innovative ideas, products and services, but with state-of-the-art business models. Graduated in Economics.

Plays basketball competitively, and also coached basketball. Passionate about fishing/angling, though he has little time for it. Father of 3 children.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English

Sean Gerlis

Advisor

Sean Gerlis
Advisor

A subject matter expert in Effective Communication along with Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 & 2008 and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 who advocates on wide spectrum of disability issues. Is known as a strong advocate for diversity inclusion in employment and career growth opportunities for people with disabilities.

Volunteers for several not-for-profit organizations that addresses deaf children education, civil rights for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind, and inclusion emergency preparedness.

Native Language: ASL + Written English

Dawn Croasmun

ASL Expert

Dawn Croasmun
ASL Expert

An ASL Expert and Linguist. Provides ongoing guidance on system features.

Is a lover of coffee, carbs, American football, and disk golf.

Native Language: ASL + Written English

Dr. Katalin Győrfi

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Katalin Győrfi
Chief Financial Officer

An economist and jurist specializing in civil rights. Prepares financial reports and projections, negotiates contracts, and oversees HR issues.

Appreciates smiles and enjoys making cookies.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, German, ASL (beginner)

Dávid Retek

Chief Technology Officer

Dávid Retek
Chief Technology Officer

Specializing in data mining, statistical and machine learning algorithms.

Loves candy and cookies in all quantities, reading (especially sci-fi), hiking and climbing.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, ASL (beginner)

Derek Frank

ASL Expert / Trainer

Derek Frank
ASL Expert / Trainer

Trains new users on the system, and collects ongoing feedback that is communicated with the development team necessary to improve the system.

Enjoys biking, camping, and the beach at sunset. Also, staring up at the starry night sky.

Native Language: ASL + Written English

Mihály Pintér

Chief Strategy Officer

Mihály Pintér
Chief Strategy Officer

An economist with 15 years experience in risk management and investment. Responsible for corporate strategy and planning, and organizational integration. Plays a key role in project and program management, preparation of studies and analyses, and successful implementation of H2020 EU & IT projects. Guides the team on domestic and foreign funding programs and tenders in the area of innovation. Develops international relations in the EU and in the Asia & Pacific region.

Can’t live without rock music, mountain biking, family,

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, German

Helga Mária Szabó

Senior Linguist

Helga Mária Szabó
Senior Linguist

A sign language expert (Ph.D. in Linguistics); participated in various research projects with Hungarian Sign Language and language acquisition of Deaf children.

Spends time playing board games with family/friends, renewing furniture, training/walking her dog, geocaching, gardening, and cross-stitch.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, German, Finnish, HSL, ASL

Dávid Pálházi

Chief Operations Officer

Dávid Pálházi
Chief Operations Officer

Continuously on the quest for operational excellence. Specializing in problems-solving.

Lives for peaceful alone time, chilling anywhere on the water, and road trips.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, ASL (beginner)

Jesada Pua

ASL Expert

Jesada Pua
ASL Expert

Provides ongoing input into the development of the system. Works with product and development teams to optimize user experience.

Originally from San Francisco, enjoys globetrotting on planet Earth, trying different cuisines, and learning new languages.

Native Language: ASL + Written English
Other Languages: French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Swedish, Japanese Sign Language, French Sign Language, New Zealand Sign Language, International Sign Language.

Éva Sáfár

Computational Linguist

Éva Sáfár
Computational Linguist

Responsible for developing resources and language models for the sign language to English translation component. Background includes Senior Research Associate for EU projects with a sign language translation focus, and Language Engineer in England.

Occasionally performs with a traditional folk singing group, and helps with organising events as a board member of the Hungarian Association of British Alumni. Also likes hiking and book club.

Native Language: Hungarian
Other Languages: English, German, British Sign Language

About Deaf / Hearing Communication

According to *research in the United States, approximately 0.38% of the population, or 3.8 per 1,000 people (over 5 years of age) are “functionally deaf.”  Every deaf individual has friends, family and co-workers who are a mix of deaf and hearing. (Some hearing folks know sign language, others find alternate methods of communication.)

SignAll not only benefits the Deaf, but the hearing individuals they interact with on a daily basis.  Improved communication benefits everyone involved… friends, family, work colleagues, businesses…

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Some employers may be reluctant to hire well-qualified deaf employees because it is an unknown variable; they don’t know if it will be difficult to integrate a deaf employee (or to what degree).  

Many organizations are facing increasing pressure to hire legally disabled workers in order to acquire government contracts (link to new law), or to be accepted as a socially responsible / diverse workplace.

Even though the deaf community is legally identified as “disabled,”  they would not agree that they are actually disabled. They prefer to explain it as being linguistically challenged.  (Sign language is rarely used by hearing individuals, even though it’s easily accessible to learn.) SignAll is also currently in development with a teaching tool that will allow hearing users to learn and practice sign language.

Whenever you talk about accessibility, the conversation is often focused on those that are disabled.  However, the reality is that when you increase accessibility, everyone benefits.

In our case, increasing accessibility for the Deaf means increasing opportunities for conversations between the Deaf and hearing.  Communication is the foundation that friendships, partnerships and collaborations are built upon.

 

* https://research.gallaudet.edu/Demographics/deaf-US.php

Partners

eu

This project has received funding from the European Union`s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 854984.