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Thumbs up! These smart gloves translate sign language to text

Gesture-recognition technology is truly breaking through the sound barrier, opening up a whole new way of communicating for people who are deaf.

Now playing: Watch this: Hands on with the smart gloves that translate sign language...

If you've played Wii, HTC Vive or (yeah, I'll say it) Just Dance, you're no stranger to seeing your movements rendered in 3D animation.

But what if gesture-recognition technology could be used to break down communication barriers and isolation for people who are deaf or have hearing loss?

A new pair of smart gloves is promising just that, by translating finger and hand movements into text, allowing deaf people to easily communicate with strangers through a smartphone app.

Developed by Taiwanese company Yingmi Tech and shown off at Computex in Taipei this week, the gloves feature sensors in the fingers as well as a gyroscope and accelerometer in a unit on the wrist. The sensors transmit finger and hand movements via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, translating gestures to text.

Wearing the gloves, it's pretty easy to see how this kind of tech could have a profound impact on daily life for people with limited or no hearing.

Sadly, my Australian sign language was no help when I demo'd the gloves at Computex -- they'd been programmed for Chinese sign language. Still, Yingmi said that the technology has far-reaching applications and that it's working with other developers to expand its uses. 

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2017 coverage here.