A team of UCLA scientists announced they have developed a glove that uses an app to translate American Sign Language into speech in real time. This could open up entire new avenues of communication for ASL users.
According to the Canadian Association of the Deaf, no fully credible census of Deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing people has ever been conducted in Canada. The traditional “one in ten” formula for estimating statistics, concludes that there are 357,000 culturally Deaf Canadians and 3.21 million hard of hearing Canadians.
The UCLA team, who published their research in the journal Nature Electronics, said the glove contains sensors in the digits that identify each word, phrase or letter in American Sign Language and transmits them wirelessly to a smartphone app that translates them at a rate of one word per second.
They also say that the device can include optional sensors that can be attached to a user’s face to register facial expressions used in ASL. “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,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.
It’s also important to know that the gloves and facial sensors were developed to be more lightweight and comfortable than previous efforts to translate sign language via machinery. Chen added that previous attempts were criticized as too bulky for practical use.
While it is not a complete translation system; it doesn’t translate British Sign Language, this could still open up a whole new world of communication for all of us, and it’s your Good News Story of the Day, which you can find here. But Jun Chen also said, “In addition, we hope it can help more people learn sign language themselves,” and learning is never a bad idea.
Story and Image from CNN.