Researchers have developed a connected glove that translates sign language into words in less than a second, with optimal reliability.
Without knowledge of sign language, communication is impossible between signers and non-signers. The connected solution of the moment? A glove fitted with sensors sensitive to finger movements and capable of translating sign language into words. In 2005, its creator José Hernandez Rebollar had already tested the device with students from an American sign language school and was looking for funding to market it.
Up to now, an expensive and unreliable connected device
Other sign language translation devices are notably based on electromyography ( medical technique which makes it possible to study the function of nerves and muscles) , photography and image processing. “However, large-scale production and widespread use of these techniques is limited by a number of questions”,highlight researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Indeed, sign language translation systems based on surface electromyography impose strict sensor positions, which can affect the accuracy and reliability of translation. These systems can also suffer from poor lighting which compromises the visual quality of movement and affects the results of recognition. Finally, the cost of devices based on these technologies is high, which limits their widespread use.
For direct communication between signers and non-signers
UCLA bioengineers have therefore designed a new device “inexpensive and sustainable” according to them. Published in the journal, their research results in a system that can translate American sign language into English in real time using a smartphone application. “We hope that this will allow people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate them,” said in a press release.