Researchers at UCLA have created a high-tech glove that can translate sign language into speech or text on a smartphone. Usually, when something revolutionary like this pops up, the first thing that comes to mind is that few people would be able to afford it in the near future. But, the team who developed the glove say they used parts that cost less than $50. This means it could be even cheaper than that when produced on a large scale.
Learning sign language can be a challenging task for most people. This glove can prove its use for people who want to learn sign language in order to communicate with family or friends with hearing impairments. People who gain a hearing problem during their lifetime, and are not born with it can also benefit from the innovative glove.
The technology is far from perfect as it stands, but the signs are promising. The researchers say the system can differentiate 660 American Sign Language signs with nearly 99 percent accuracy. An app can then convert those into text or spoken words in real-time at a rate of up to a word per second (60 words per minute). The glove connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
The technology isn’t new, but the fact that it can be an affordable piece of tech for end-users might just reduce the communication gap between people with hearing impairments and the rest of the world.