Hi-Tech Gloves That Translate Sign Language
A breakthrough in the world of sign language is on its way, with the development of a glove that translates sign language into speech in real-time.
The wearable device will potentially allow deaf people to communicate with anyone and everyone without the need for a translator.
The hi-tech glove to the deaf to communicate
Scientists have developed a high-tech glove that will allow deaf people to communicate in real-time with anyone and everyone.
The gloves will include stretchable sensors that run the length of the five fingers, that pick up hand motions and finger placements before sending those signals wirelessly to a smartphone.
Developed with lightweight and inexpensive technology, the gloves are said to translate the signals into spoken words at a rate of one word per second.
Scientists at UCLA, where the project was developed, believe the innovation could allow for easier communication for deaf people. They hope that the glove opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them.
In addition, the scientist hopes it can help more people learn sign language themselves. The research was published in the journal Nature Electronics.
How does the hi-tech glove work?
The system includes a pair of gloves with thin, stretchable sensors that run the length of each of the five fingers. These sensors, made from electrically conducting yarns, pick up hand motions and finger placements that stand for individual letters, numbers, words and phrases.
The device then turns the finger movements into electrical signals, which are sent to a dollar-coin-sized circuit board worn on the wrist. The board transmits those signals wirelessly to a smartphone that translates them into spoken words at the rate of about a one-word per second.
The early wearable glove systems that offered translation from American Sign Language were limited by bulky and heavy device designs or were uncomfortable to wear.
The highlights of the new technology
Between 100,000 and 1 million people are estimated to use American Sign Language in the United States.
The glove does not translate British Sign Language, the other dominant sign language in the English-speaking world, which is used by about 151,000 adults in the UK, according to the British Deaf Association.
The researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language.
The device is lighter than the wearable systems developed in previous attempts to create live sign language translating equipment. More than 300 sign languages are used by more than 70 million deaf people across the world.
Image Courtesy: www.washington.edu