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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...
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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.