Learning sign language can be a difficult task to master, even with the best of instructors. However, thanks to work done by researchers from UCLA’s Samueli School of Engineering, learning sign language could now be as easy as putting on a glove.
According to research published in the journal Nature Electronics, the sign language gloves are able to interpret over 600 American Sign Language signs with an accuracy of 98.63 %.
The gloves achieve this high accuracy thanks to stretchable sensors made of electrically-sensing yarn that run the length of the fingers, according to Engadget. These sensors then pick up the different hand motions and finger placements that stand for individual letters, numbers, words and phrases and relays that information to a coin circuit board located on the wrist.
The tiny circuit board then transmits those signals wirelessly to a smartphone application that translates them into spoken words at the rate of around a one word per second.
“Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said principal investigator on the research, Jun Chen.
The gloves only cost R 847 ($50) to produce, but could become even cheaper once they are mass produced.
Take a look at the gloves in action below.
Image; Jun Chen Lab/UCLA