Scientists at UCLA have developed an innovative real-time system – a glove that translates the sign language into written and spoke words on smartphones via an app. It potentially aids deaf people to communicate directly without any intervention of translators.
The inexpensive high tech glove is developed by researchers in UCLA that works in real-time that interpret the 660 American Sign language to spoken words with 98.63 percent of precision.
The high tech glove comprises of stretchable sensors formed of electrically sensing yarn that drives along with the four fingers and thumb, then the signal travels via the miniature circuit board at the back of signal which transmits the signal wirelessly to the smartphone. The app converts these signals into the spoken word at a rate of word per second I.e 60 words per minute. The researcher team at UCLA also set the adhesive sensors so it can catch the face facial expressions which is an important part of American Sign language. Since about one million people use American sign language in the United States. The device doesn’t support the British sign language as per the current scenario.
According to the researchers at UCLA, the team behind the innovation acknowledge that innovation will make communication much easier for deaf people. The purpose of innovation is to aid deaf people. Hopefully one day they one can learn sign language and it becomes very easier for the signers to talk with none signers without taking the heal of external human translators said by the lead researcher Jun Chen an assistant professor of bioengineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and the principal investigator on the research.
The researcher Jun Chen said that the expense of the parts of glove cost them only $50 and could even cost them at a much reasonable price with a large scale production. He further talked about the concept which is not new. The purpose of the team is to make it more comfortable and less bulky than other designs.
In addition, he talked about that the glove is yet a prototype and it needs to be much faster and able to understand more signs that could possibly help the deaf person in the best possible way.”Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” told lead researcher Jun Chen.
In addition to it he a further said that ” We hope it can help more people learn sign language themselves”.
Surplus of 300 sign languages is used by more than 70 million deaf people across the globe. If we talk about the critics view on the invention. They are not actually impressed with the invention since there are many tools available in the market to help deaf people communicate. As far as the report the deaf post-doctoral researcher Gabrielle Hodge told CNN that it would be better and so much easier if tech focused on user-driven and user-centred design.
The research is published in the journal Nature Electronics on 29 June.