Saudi designer Hadeel Ayoub has developed the “SignLanguageGlove”, a so-called smart glove that wirelessly translates sign language as it is signed, doing so into speech or visual letters for those on the receiving end to understand. The idea is that someone who signs to communicate will have trouble doing so if the person with whom they are talking doesn’t read sign language. With the glove, what they sign becomes spoken language, removing the barrier.
Ayoub herself speaks Arabic, English, and French, and envisions the glove one day having a multi-lingual feature, though the implementation of that feature (whether it could translate from one language into another, for example) isn’t known. The translation feature, however, from sign language to spoken/written language, is done through an app.
The sign language will be translated and shuttled to the other person’s mobile device. An array of five sensors in the glove’s fingers detect the finger motions, while an accelerometer tracks the signer’s hands. Ayoub made the accompanying software, which translates the motions into words. There’s also a text-to-speech chip for turning it into spoken communications.
This is a prototype at this point; according to Motherboard, there has been more than one and more planned in the future. One planned future prototype is a glove that has wireless functionality so that the text can be sent as text messages or emails.