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Smart glove gives voice to sign language gestures

A prototype solar-powered sensory glove captures sign language hand movements and translates them through text and voice.

EnableTalk gloves
The latest EnableTalk glove prototypes.

I have a very basic grasp of sign language, including the alphabet and few simple words like "thank you," "snake," and "chicken."

The last time I spoke with someone who was speech impaired, we resorted to a scrap piece of cardboard and a pencil to get our messages across. A new invention may help break down those barriers.

The EnableTalk smart glove recognizes sign language gestures and sends them for text and voice translation to a smartphone or other device.

The glove looks a bit like a fancy dirt bike glove, but with some interesting electronics hanging onto the back and sensor strips extending out over the fingers.

The glove contains 11 flex sensors, 8 touch sensors, a 3D digital gyroscope, and an accelerometer. A microcontroller collects all this data, analyzes it, and sends the results to a computer or smartphone.

Originally, the gloves were designed to capture primarily finger gestures, but the developers, Ukrainian group QuadSquad, are expanding the capabilities to include larger gestures.

The gloves will have Bluetooth and solar power to maximize their portability and usefulness. A pair of EnableTalk gloves is expected to retail for $400 once it makes it to market.

Check out this video of a prototype glove signing "hello" with the translation coming from a smartphone.

(Via The Daily Good)