Bioengineers from the University of California in Los Angeles has created a device in the form of gloves that can translate sign language in real time. While the experiment used only sign language used in the United States, as well as the English language, but scientists who are already apply for a patent, does not exclude the possibility to use this system with other languages. The results of the study recently was published in the journal Nature Electronics.
“We hope that it will help people who use sign language to communicate directly with those who he does not know, without the help of other people,” explains the head of research and Professor of bioengineering, faculty of engineering Sciences Henry samueli, University of California, Jun Chen (Chen Jun). “We also hope that this will help more people to learn sign language”.
How this device works
The device consists of two gloves with very thin and flexible sensors located throughout the length of the fingers. These sensors are made of fibers that conduct electricity. They record the hand movements and position of the fingers that indicate letters, numbers, words, or whole phrases.
The device then transforms the motion into electrical signals that are sent to the Board, the size of a coin located on the back of the hand just above the wrist. Board transmits signals wirelessly to a smartphone, and he, in turn, converts them into words. Speed is approximately one word per second.
During the experiment, the researchers worked with four deaf people who use American sign language. They repeated each hand gesture 15 times. Automatic machine learning algorithm that is customized for a particular person, turned these gestures into letters, numbers, and words that they stand for. The system recognizes 660 gestures, including all the letters of the alphabet and numbers from 0 to 9.
In addition, the researchers attached additional sensors on the faces of the participants using sign language. The electrodes are placed between the eyebrows and near your mouth to capture facial expression.
This is not the first portable device for simultaneous interpretation to sign language, but according to its creators, it is the most easy and convenient to use. The device, developed by a team of scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles created from a stretchy lightweight polymers. In addition, as emphasized by the researchers themselves, they are not very expensive, but “it’s fairly durable”. Electronic sensors are “reading” the hand movements are also very flexible and inexpensive.