Photo of Mateo Salvatto


Mateo Salvatto

His app adds subtitles to real life speech to facilitate oral communication with people with disabilities

Year Honored


Latin America

Hails From

Many people are not aware of the problems from which people with an inability to communicate suffer; for example, deafness. To not understand what the person in front of you is saying complicates everything; from learning at school to ordering food at a restaurant.

With a mother who is a teacher of deaf people, Mateo Salvatto grew up hearing these types of anecdotes every day. And since Mateo began to acquire computer skills from a very young age, he decided to do something to help these people. That is why he created ¡Háblalo!, an Android app that acts as a translator in real time from voice to text and vice versa. Having a tool of this type greatly facilitates the daily life of people who are deaf, mute, or with another type of disability that prevents their oral communication. Thanks to this initiative, the young Argentinian has become one of the Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2018 from MIT Technology Review in Spanish.

The creator defines the app "as a way of being able to subtitle the world around you and for the telephone to speak for you." The application uses the natural language processing tool of Google and offers a user interface specially designed for the needs of disabled people since it contains pictograms and shortcuts to facilitate its use.

Although it was created to help its acquaintances, in the year it has been available, the application has already been downloaded more than 25,000 times by users in 45 countries, on four continents. The Government of the city of Buenos Aires (Argentina) has declared it a "software of social interest" and ENACOM chose it as the best app of 2017.

"It is totally free and works without an internet connection," says Salvatto, although he acknowledges that "there is still a lot of work to be done to continue helping the millions of people who could benefit from it." Thus, the young Argentinian is focused on closing commercial agreements with companies and public administrations for these companies to obtain the application so that their services are more accessible for this community.

The partner in Innovatika, Katarzyna Królak-Wyszyńska, jury member of Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2018, considers that "Salvatto is an incredibly talented person who makes good use of his gifts as a social innovator."