Two University of Washington undergraduates have designed gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech and won a $10,000 prize, the University of Washington's press center said.
Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor invented "SignAloud," a pair of gloves recognizing hand gestures that correspond to words and phrases in American Sign Language. "Each glove contains sensors that record hand position and movement then send data wirelessly via Bluetooth to a central computer. The computer examines the gesture data through various sequential statistical regressions, similar to a neural network. If the data matches a gesture, then the associated word or phrase is spoken through a speaker," the university added.
Pryor, an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said the gloves are lightweight and compact while ergonomic enough to use as an everyday accessory. "Our purpose for developing these gloves was to provide an easy-to-use bridge between native speakers of American Sign Language and the rest of the world," Azodi said in the statement. Azodi and Pryor met during their freshman year and share a common passion for invention. "The idea initially came out of our shared interest in invention and problem solving. But coupling it with our belief that communication is a fundamental human right, we set out to make it more accessible to a larger audience," Azodi added.