Ukrainian students develop gloves that translate sign language into speech

July 12, 2012 | Source: TechCrunch

(Credit: Enable Talk)

Using a gloves fitted with flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers a Ukrainian team in a Microsoft competition has built a system called EnableTalk that can translate sign language into text and then into spoken words using a text-to-speech engine.

The whole system then connects to a smartphone over Bluetooth.

There are currently about 40 million deaf, mute and deaf-mute people. Many of them use sign language, which very few non-deaf people understand.

Sign language-translating glove (credit: EnableTalk)

The few existing projects that come close to what EnableTalk is proposing generally cost around $1,200 and usually have fewer sensors, use wired connections and don’t come with an integrated software solution. The EnableTalk team says that the hardware for its prototypes costs about $75 per device.

Users can teach the system new gestures and modify those that the team plans to ship in a library of standard gestures. Given the high degree of variation among sign languages, which also has regional dialects just like spoken language, this will be a welcome feature for users.

Windows Phone 7 doesn’t allow developers access to the Bluetooth stack, so the current version runs on Windows Mobile, the predecessor to Windows Phone.