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Samsung gets neighbors to learn sign language to please deaf man (and make you cry)

Technically Incorrect: In Turkey, Samsung decides to promote its video conferencing service for the hearing impaired and does it in a very touching way.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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A hearing-impaired man is bemused that everyone speaks his language. DigitalSynopsis/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Try to forget that this is an ad.

Or, if you can't do that, try to believe that this is an ad with a heart.

For this is the story of a group of neighbors that decided to please one hearing-impaired resident called Muharrem by learning sign language.

Yes, it was devised by Samsung's Turkish branch. And it is intended to sell the company's video conferencing service for the hearing-impaired.

But feel Muharrem's bemusement after he helps a man pick up fruit he's dropped and the man communicates in sign language.

Watch his face after he gets in a cab and is greeted by a driver who also uses sign language and you might just feel something elementally human.

The idea was filmed in Bagcilar, a working class district of Istanbul, at the end of last year. It took a month to prepare. And the YouTube video has already enjoyed almost 4 million views since it was posted last week.

Clearly, the action had to be carefully choreographed so that he could encounter all the residents who had learned sign language. Still, my Turkish friends tell me that the ad should be seen in the context of Turkish infrastructure making it very hard for disabled people to live anything resembling normal lives.

By the end of the ad, Muharrem is overwhelmed. And if you're not -- at least a very small amount -- then perhaps you need a little check-in with your innards.