3D could mean better grasp on sign language

Hitachi researcher is working on a prototype that teaches sign language using 3D animation.

Hirohiko Sagawa
Hitachi researcher Hirohiko Sagawa thinks 3D animation can do a better job of teaching sign language than other, more static materials. AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno

A number of materials, including textbooks, videotapes, and software, teach sign language. But Hitachi researcher Hirohiko Sagawa and his cohorts see limitations with those methods. They have created a prototype model of a mobile phone that displays Japanese sign language movements via 3D animation. Users can shift the viewing angles and enlarge animated images to get a more well-rounded sense of what the gestures entail.

In the photo above, Sagawa shows off the prototype at the Japanese electronics giant's advanced technology fair in Tokyo on Thursday.

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