New glove developed to translate sign language into text

Engineering

A new glove has been developed that can translate sign language into text to provide a real-time translation.

Created by the University of California, San Diego, the glove is able to convert the 26 letters of American Sign Language into text on a smartphone or computer screen for a lower cost than other automatic sign language translators, and has the advantage of being more portable.

“Scientists have developed a glove that can translate sign language into text in real time to aid communication for the deaf community.“

It consists of a standard glove equipped with flexible strain sensors that are placed over different knuckles, with electrical resistance increasing when a user bends their digits. Meanwhile, motion sensors on the back of the glove are able to establish whether the hand is still or in motion, making it easier to differentiate similar letters.

Previous attempts to create translation gloves have resulted in cumbersome devices with brittle parts that require effort to move, but this new version is comfortable and easy to use.

It is hoped that this glove could help deaf people to communicate with those who do not understand sign language, while also facilitating the control of robotic devices.

Jesal Vishnuram, technology research manager for the charity group Action on Hearing Loss, said: "Many people rely heavily on friends and family to translate for them or they simply end up being cut off from the hearing world. So even having a device that could just translate basic phrases would have a huge effect."

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