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Flex Sensor Gloves Convert Sign Language into Speech

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Enable Talk is the voice of sign language…

A team from the Ukraine has invented a set of gloves with an array of sensors that can translate sign language into speech via a smartphone app.

The Enable Talk gloves were developed as part of Microsoft’s Image Cup in Sydney. The team, known as the QuadSquad, took first place with its design.

The Enable Talk gloves are fitted with flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers, which track the users hand movements. The date is then sent via Bluetooth to a Windows mobile phone, where and accompanying app utilizes Microsoft Speech API and Bing API to translate the signs into text and speech.

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Enable Talk Gloves

Image Credit: Enable Talk, 2012.

Users can also add gestures to the sign dictionary, and with all the variation between sign languages, this customizability will serve as a useful feature for many.

The gloves are powered by a compact Li-Pol cell, which can be charged via USB. They also come with onboard solar cells to help increase battery life.

The biggest selling point however has to be Enable Talks price. Similar technology costs at least $1200 per system, but the QuadSquad say’s that hardware alones cost just $75, and once assembled, could be sold for under $400.

The QuadSquad hope its Enable Talk gloves will allow some of the 40 million deaf people worldwide to communicate easier with others who don’t understand sign language.

Currently the technology runs on Windows Mobile, however if the device makes it to production, I’m sure we’ll see support for a number of more up-to-date operating systems.


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