EnableTalk’s smart glove looks modest as a prototype, but aims to give a new voice to those with hearing disabilities.
The project was presented at the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition in 2012 and won the first prize. Main idea is to translate sign language into speech.
The inspiration for the gloves came from observing fellow college students who were deaf have difficulty communicating with other students, which results in them being excluded from activities.
Initially, the team looked at commercially available gloves that could be modified to interpret a range of signs, but in the end, they opted to develop their own.
Video: EnableTalk- Smart Gloves
Schematics of the gloves reveal the extensive use of flex sensors to detect finger motions used in sign language. [image source: enabled talk ]
In their glove, a total of 15 flex sensors in the fingers measure the degree of bending while a compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope determine the motion of the glove through space. The sensor data are processed by a microcontroller on the glove then sent via Bluetooth to a mobile device, which translates the positions of the hand and fingers into text when the pattern is recognized. Using Microsoft APIs for Speech and Bing, the text is spoken by the phone running Windows Phone 7. The glove can also plug into a PC for data syncing and charging of its battery.
Working with other developers, the glove will ultimately be supported on Android and Apple iOS.
More details : enabletalk.com