If you don’t understand sign language, it is difficult to communicated to hearing-impaired people. Engineers at the University of California San Diego developed a prototype of Smart Glove, a Bluetooth-enabled, sensor-packed glove that reads the sign language hand gestures and translates them into text. This glove has a 9 stretchable sensors that are attached to the knuckles, two on each finger and one on the thumb. These are connected to a circuit board on the wrist, which generates a letter of the American Sign Language alphabet based on the position of the fingers.
The code works off a binary system and the sensors are designed to change their electrical resistance when they’re bent or stretched. The system combines these signals from all 9 sensors to generate a nine-digit code, which corresponds to a particular letter. In sign language the letter A is made by keeping the thumb straight while bending all fingers, so the code is 011111111. To differentiate between similar gestures, the glove is also equipped with an accelerometer and pressure sensor. The circuit board then translates these codes into letters, and sends them via Bluetooth to be displayed on the computer screen. This smart glove might allow people to use their hands in virtual reality in the future.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE, and this glove can be seen in action in the video below.
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