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This 'Glove' translates sign language into text

Other | Thursday 20th July 2017 | Idrees

We’ve all seen those late-night television shows with someone in the bottom right-hand corner. The purpose of that person is to translate the content of the show for those who cannot hear well. And it begs the question, how could you know what they are saying?

Well, at first you could learn sign language. This is the obvious choice and it will help you to understand and communicate with mute and/or deaf individuals. But what if there is another way?

Thanks to the University of California San Diego, there are researchers who have developed a glove which manages to translate sign language. The team built the glove for less than $100, using flexible electronics which are commercially available.  

The glove can translate the entire American Sign Language alphabet into text, by using flexible sensors to detect the movement of the signer’s knuckles. This creates a nine-digit binary key which links to a letter. The glove also uses a pressure sensor and accelerometer to help decide the movements of letters.

UCSD are not stopping there, as they have more planned for the future.

"Gesture recognition is just one demonstration of this glove's capabilities," Timothy O’Connor, a nanoengineering PhD student at UC San Diego and the first author of the study, on the researchers' work, said in a statement

"Our ultimate goal is to make this a smart glove that in the future will allow people to use their hands in virtual reality, which is much more intuitive than using a joystick and other existing controllers. This could be better for games and entertainment, but more importantly for virtual training procedures in medicine, for example, where it would be advantageous to actually simulate the use of one's hands."

The glove could help users to have better control over objects in virtual reality. The researchers are also working on another version of the glove that will come with touch senses.

It is worth wondering where they would go from here as this could be a revolutionary invention!

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