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Inexpensive Smart Glove Translates American Sign Language Inexpensive Smart Glove Translates American Sign Language

Inexpensive Smart Glove Translates American Sign Language

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Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have come up with a smart glove that can translate the American Sign Language (ASL) into text. The wireless device also incorporates a virtual hand that can re-create sign language gestures.

UCSD engineers have dubbed the device "The Language of the Glove," and it was built for less than $100. Printable and stretchable electronics were one of the keys to the design -- chiefly because they are low-cost, commercially available, and a snap to put together.

Researchers are also developing the smart glove for other purposes, such as technical training, telesurgery, and defense.

Timothy O’Connor, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UCSD and the first author of the study, said in a press release, “Gesture recognition is just one demonstration of this glove’s capabilities. Our ultimate goal is to make this a smart glove that in the future will allow people to use their hands in virtual reality, which is much more intuitive than using a joystick and other existing controllers.”

The device consists of a leather athletic glove and nine stretchable sensors attached to areas that line up with the backs of the knuckles -- a pair on each finger and one for the thumb. All of the sensors are attached with stainless steel thread to a small circuit board that's secured to the back of the wrist.

The sensors can recognize straight or bent hand joints, assigning a "0" for the former and a "1" for the latter. Each letter in the ASL alphabet matches up with a 9-digit binary code. The circuit board then "reads" each letter and transmits it via Bluetooth to a computer screen or smartphone.

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Read 1384 times Last modified on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 05:03
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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