Researchers at UCLA have developed an inexpensive, high-tech glove that can translate sign language into written and spoken words on a smartphone (via Fast Company). The system works in real time and can interpret 660 American Sign Language signs with a promising 98.63 percent accuracy. It could one day be used to teach more people sign language and help deaf people communicate with non-sign language users.
The gloves have stretchable sensors made of electrically-sensing yarn running up each of the five fingers. The signals travel to a dollar coin-sized circuit board placed on the back of the glove, which then transmits wireless signals to smartphone. An app can convert those into text in real time at a rate of up to a word per second (60 words per minute). The team also place adhesive sensors on testers’ faces to capture facial expressions that are part of American Sign language.