These Smart Gloves Can Translate Sign Language

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This wearable tech could improve communication for the hearing impaired.

Language translation technology is a field currently undergoing a lot of development, but what about a nonverbal language like sign language?

Taiwanese company Yingmi Tech has developed a potential solution: smart gloves that translate sign language to text. The company demonstrated a prototype of the gloves at the Computex technology trade show in Taipei.

The gloves contain sensors in the fingers and a gyroscope and accelerometer embedded into the wrist, along with batteries that allow each glove to run for 8 hours.

The gloves are programmed to detect sign language motion and then transmit those gestures via Bluetooth to a smartphone that translates those gestures to text. There remains a slight language barrier, in that there are many different types of sign languages. For example, the prototype demonstrated at Computex was programmed to detect Chinese sign language. Someone using American sign language wouldn't find the gloves very useful.

Yingmi is still developing the technology, however, and is currently on the lookout for other developers to expand its applications.

To see the gloves in action, check out the video below from CNET: