A device called ‘The Language of Glove’ has been developed by engineers at the University of California, San Diego. It is a smart glove that can translate the American Sign Language alphabet into text and control a virtual hand to mimic sign language gestures.

Most people find it difficult to understand sign language and this is can be very frustrating for the people who depend on it to communicate. This is the pain a smart glove like ‘the language of glove’ is designed to alleviate.

 

Technology Highlights

  • The Language of Glove has a leather athletic glove with nine stretchable sensors 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 sensors are designed to change their electrical resistance when they are bent or stretched, so when a finger is straight, the device registers a 0 input, while a bent finger sends a signal of 1. To differentiate between similar gestures, the glove is also equipped with an accelerometer and pressure sensor.
  • The circuit board then translates these codes into a string of written letters and sends them via Bluetooth to be displayed on a smartphone or computer screen. The smart gloves are made using inexpensive materials and fabrication methods and in future could find applications in entertainment, medicine or the military.

This will not be the first smart gloves or device designed to break down this particular language barrier. However, Darren Lipomi a nano-engineering professor and the study’s senior author says “We’ve innovated a low-cost and straightforward design for smart wearable devices using off-the-shelf components. Our work could enable other researchers to develop similar technologies without requiring costly materials or complex fabrication methods.”

See the Language of Glove in action in the video below.

Links: UCSD, PLOS ONE

 


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