Gallaudet University Tests Proto Holograms for ASL Learning

In a first for American Sign Language and emerging technology, the world's only liberal arts university for deaf students tested and demonstrated the use of holoportation for potential remote learning, beamed-in guest speakers and more; First use of Proto in Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gallaudet University has launched the first tests of new hologram technology for American Sign Language (ASL) in an academic setting. The Office of the Chief Bilingual Officer worked with Proto Inc., the original, patented maker of hologram devices and platforms, to present at the Visual-Centric Teaching and Learning (VCTL) Symposium April 12 and 13. The demonstration of the human-sized, 4K, interactive Proto Epic highlighted its potential to improve long-distance communications using ASL, marking the first use of Proto in Washington D.C.  

As the world's only liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students, Gallaudet University is at the forefront of visual-centric learning. The VCTL project has been using innovative digital visual pedagogy to advance American Sign Language (ASL) and English bilingualism, while also prioritizing culturally relevant and trauma-informed teaching practices. This symposium marked the culmination of the VCTL project, which was funded in 2020 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Now in its third year, the VCTL project has laid the groundwork to make digital approaches a permanent part of Gallaudet's educational strategies. The symposium provided a platform to showcase the project's accomplishments for the first time.

“This is a dream come true for me personally and for the deaf community. For so long, we have been eager to utilize ASL and English bilingualism through hologram technology, which allows us to fully express ourselves in ASL, a spatial language.” said Dr. Laurene E. Simms, Gallaudet University’s first Chief Bilingual Officer.

The trial use of Proto at the event shows how it can be used in various roles, including to beam in speakers live from around the globe. This new collaboration between Gallaudet University and Proto underscores the commitment to innovative and accessible education for deaf students.

During the Symposium, Gallaudet University President Roberta J. Cordano beamed into events via the Proto Epic and interacted with the audience using ASL. She could see the crowd and react in real time due to ultra-low latency and the realism of the hologram. 

“I fully support integrating innovative technologies like holograms to enhance the learning experience for our students and advance Gallaudet University's bilingual mission framework,’ said Cordano. Dr. Simms and other faculty, administrators, and students were also able to become live holograms.

Proto is the inventor of the first self-contained, plug-and-play, portable hologram device, which runs on the Proto OS and the cloud, and The Proto M, a desktop version of the
larger unit. Proto has been used in higher education since 2021 and is active in entertainment, finance, telehealth, retail and the art world, with many Fortune 500 companies, universities and major cultural institutions as clients. The company has been recognized as the leader in holographic communications by The Washington Post, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC.

“We started Proto to bring people together across every kind of divide,” said Doug Barry, co-Founder and CFO/COO of Proto Inc. “As a father of a child who uses ASL to communicate, I find it incredibly exciting to work with Gallaudet to help demonstrate how Proto can facilitate much clearer conversations and learning than traditional 2D video options.”

For more information about VCTL, visit

For more photos or information about Proto contact

About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution
of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of Deaf, hard of hearing and Deafblind individuals through American Sign Language and English. The university enrolls over 1,600 students in more than 40 undergraduate majors and many master’s and doctoral programs. It also conducts research in various fields, including accessible technology, Deaf history and culture, Black Deaf history and culture, brain imaging, educational neuroscience, education, linguistics, and psychology. For more information, visit

About Proto Inc. Proto is the global creator, and leading provider, of the award winning and patented Proto OS and holographic communications platform. With 100s of Proto units permanently deployed globally, and with a growing live events, production, and rental division, Proto is beaming people, brands and digital assets worldwide. Proto has become the fastest growing communications and marketing solution in retail, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, education, financial services, tech and the arts. Proto is a 4X honoree at the CES Innovation awards and has been named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list two years in a row. Proto is a VC and mega-celebrity backed technology company based in Los Angeles with satellite showrooms and distributors in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Nashville, Toronto, London, Paris, Taipei, Milan, Brisbane, Jakarta, and Seoul. More info at


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