Gloves that turn gestures into speech

Researchers have developed a set of gloves that turn hand gestures into speech using computer technology, offering hope to millions of speech-impaired people to communicate better.

The device consists of a set of sensors, an accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and flex sensors in the fingers, which translate movement into signals that a computer converts into speech.

The person wearing the gloves draws a shape in the air and that information is transmitted to them via Bluetooth to a smartphone, which matches the shape up against a set stored in memory. A match produces a sound, the ‘Discovery News’ reported.

The gloves were designed by Pasternikov Anton, Osika Maksim, Yasakov Valeriy and Stepanov Anton, researchers at the Donetsk branch of the “Step” Computer Academy. The project, called ‘EnableTalk’, was a winner of the software design category at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup contest, where students from around the world showcase technology projects.

However, the device has certain limitations as well.
Firstly, the gestures stored in the computer are not yet sign language.
Morover, sign language is as complex as any other language, and differs from one country to another.

So far, the system can only read a dozen or so movements.
Another challenge is durability and usefulness. Most people, deaf or not, don’t walk around wearing gloves all the time, and the problem is multiplied when one considers jobs that require using hands.

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