Android FingerSpell



FingerSpell is a little application (not publicly available as far as I know) writen by a good friend that attempts to test your knowledge of BSL. At some point I volunteered to "create" some scalable images of the various hand signs to replace the photographed versions that he was using in the application. I could not find the svg version of the png on wikipedia (created by Cowplopmorris) so I decided to vectorise it myself.

The original sign png is shared under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, so although I am not convinced of the usefulness of the modified version; I am happy to share i.e. if you ever need the BSL alphabet in a set of svg images, you can get it here. It is shared under the same license as the original work.

fingerspell in BSL

Android version

Shortly after Android 2.1 was released I decided to write an application based on FingerSpell for the platform. The idea was that it would expose the user to BSL symbols and then test them on their knowledge while they were on the move.

I decided that I would only use the svg signs for the mobile version and so I needed a library that would allow me to display svg images on Android. I stumbled accross libsvg-android which was a port of libsvg to Android built using the NDK - perfect, I had wanted to use the NDK for a while.

Libsvg-android is open source and is available to download under under GPL v3. To honor the license I am setting Android FingerSpell free! You can download Android Fingerspell source code (eclipse project) here under the same license.

Mockup sketches of screens

Current status

The project is very incomplete. I work on it every once in a while but that is not nearly as regular enough as I'd like. Never the less, I would like to share some screenshots with you. If you are interested in trying the application out for yourself; download and install the apk on your Android device or the simulator. Enjoy...


All the android design guidelines have changed since I last played with this app. I have recently been thinking about resurecting it but removing the svg images and replacing them with modelled ones, Holoing it and putting it up on the store.

I think a github project is also in order. We will have to wait and see.