Every day we are bombarded with many new innovations in wearable technology ecosystem. It is awesome to know that most wearables are designed to be tools to everyday life. They can assist us in saving lives, and time by becoming more invisible and smarter. Assistive wearables are increasing work performance, safety and so on. It is awesome to know that wearables are helping disabled bodies to live easier in society. Recently, thanks to the continuous development of technology, deaf-mute people can now better communicate with the rest of the world.
The idea of a “language extension glove” is not a new idea. Since 2014, EBDA’A Team developed a project named: Deaf-Mute interactive tool. It is a wearable digital glove which has alphabets on it to enable any deaf-mute to communicate with normal people without the prior knowledge of sign language.
With the same idea of a language extension glove, Hand-Tech develops a smart glove. The fabric is woven with special sensors and mini projectors that read hand movements and translate them into practical functions. The glove can also translate the sign language used by deaf people (manual communication) into sound pattern (spoken language). Hand-Tech expands the communicative power of sign language of deaf-mute converting an iconic gesture into a concrete action.
Interpreter Glove is an assistive tool that can speak for the deaf-mute. The special about the interpreter glove is that it needs to be configured and adapted to the users’ hands to generate the correct gesture descriptor. Even so, a gesture alphabet is provided. This alphabet includes 26 one-handed signs, each presenting a letter in the English alphabet. Thus, the glove is able to recognize and read aloud any finger-spelled word.
Recently, an invention of a smart glove for deaf-mute by 2 undergraduate students at the University of Washington was announced. The goal of the SignAloud glove is to provide an easier way of communication for deaf-mute people. SignAloud gloves are integrated sensors that record movement and gestures and transmit communication wirelessly to a central computer. After receiving the data, the computer analyses if it matches a gesture, then the associated word or phrase is spoken through a speaker.
HandsON – the top 5 of America’s Greatest Makers is also a brilliant idea for deaf-mute. After working on a project for a deaf community in Nicaragua, HandsON team found that communication is quite difficult for both sides. Therefore, they work very hard on HandsON-a sensor-enhanced glove that translate American Sign Language into text and voice.
Verbavoice – a company based in Munich is also working on a project of sign language interpreters. They are doing their best in giving voice to deaf-mute society.
Thanks to the evolution of technology. It is not a dream world where people who are deaf-mute are able to communicate or make a phone call directly via real-time text or voice. It is becoming real when there is no barrier in communication for disable people and people without hearing impairments.