American Sign Language happens to be the sixth most-used language in the US and yet there are few options when it comes to bridging the communication gap between those who understand the language and those who don't. However, that may soon change with an interesting project by three engineering students from Cornell University who have developed a glove that can translate gestures into spoken letters.
Ranjay Krishna, Seonwoo Lee, and Si Ping Wang, along with help from Jonathan Lang, developed a Sign Language Translator glove for their final project this past semester. The prototype glove is powered by 9-volt batteries and can transmit signals wirelessly. It uses various accelerometers, contact sensors, and flex sensors to gather three-dimensional data from complex finger gestures.
It then converts the gestures into digital signals that can be spoken aloud as letters by the system itself or sent to a computer as text. The prototype unit does both and the letters sent to the computer can be used to construct sentences or to play games, such as an American Sign Language testing game demoed in the video below.