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Pangea’s The Finger iPhone App is More Than Just a Gesture



itunesI imagine most folks would have the same reaction I did when I saw mention of Pangea Software’s iPhone App, The Finger (iTunes link). While they don’t include the objectionable to some gesture as one of the stock gestures in the library of 90, you can use the apps creative way of making your own gestures to do just that. Pangea is well known for the games it has created (CroMag Rally, Engimo, and others) and on the surface this looks very playful.

But that’s not why I’m writing about The Finger. Instead, I’ll point to another terrific feature of the application. That’s the text to sign language feature. Yep, that’s right. If you enter a phrase of text, or a word, The Finger will give you an animated replay of your text using American Sign Language. I think that’s cool and probably helpful if you need to or want to learn American Sign Language. I know it would have come in handy when my wife had to learn sign language for a play she was doing, and I’m sure for some who need to communicate with the hearing impaired it could come in handy as well.

You can check out a video of the app here, and in an intriguing gesture given the current climate of App Store inconsistency when it comes to censorship and denying apps, I find it interesting that Pangea puts the potentially offensive material before the American Sing Language section in the video. I guess they know what sells best.

Via AppAdvice




  1. Sumocat

    08/05/2009 at 12:42 pm

    Sounds great for learning, but not so much for on-the-spot communication. Unless you’re dealing with a hearing impaired person who can’t read, typing notes and handing the iPhone back and forth would be easier.

  2. Morbo

    08/05/2009 at 3:23 pm

    The ASL feature is just for fun and a good way to learn the signed alphabet. Really, “The Finger” isn’t meant to be a serious communication app. That would be silly. What it is is a fun animation app. You can animate the fully articulated 3D hand to do whatever you want as well as use over 90 pre-made animated hand gestures to make all sorts of sequences.

    It’s meant to be just fun and creative if you use it to its fullest. It’s really up to how you use it. You can use it to be crass or to be nice, or whatever… pretty much as you can with your real hand. This is just a fun way to do it and even learn some simple animation skills and maybe a little ASL.

    Considering that of the top 100 entertainment apps at the iTunes Store right now most of them are either “hot chic”, gun, or fart-based, giving this application a name like “The Finger” was probably the best way to get attention.

    I think it’s really slick and creative once you actually see what it’s all about.

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