Wearable Tech & Sign Language
Researchers at one of Mexico’s most prestigious institutes, IPN, have brought to the attention of the world a glove which is capable of translating both text and sign language in real time so that people with hearing impediments and speech difficulties can readily understand each other.
Although just a prototype at this stage, the glove is highly efficient at sensing hand movements at whatever speed, and correlating them with a list of hand shapes that are stored in its database. The 26 letters of the alphabet are also pre-programmed, allowing users to spell out particular names of places with ease. Packed with technology, the glove then transmits the data it receives (visually by hand movements) by Bluetooth to a smartphone. The app installed on the smartphone then displays the words that have been mimicked by the glove and is even capable of reading the message aloud.
The glove is just using the international alphabet at present, but hopes are that it will be adapted to be able to recognise Mexican hand signals too. If all goes well, many other languages could eventually be added. To use the glove, made from conductive threads which are thicker than cotton and created out of steel, the user needs to place it on their hand in line with the sensors. These sensors detect if a finger is open or closed and straight or curved, relaying the information to its processors and giving the message to the recipient.
The app is available now to download for Android, known as the Glove Translator, and is completely free, but you will have to wait for the glove itself to be brought to market to see it working its miracles. Once the patent is completed this product will likely receive plenty of funding from diverse sources, and many are already making enquiries.