A team of Ukrainian students, QuadSquad, have invented a pair of gloves - named “EnableTalk” - that can translate signs and movements into speech by using a text-to-speech engine. The gloves are fitted with flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers as well as solar cells to increase battery life.
Users of the gloves can teach the system new gestures and modify the standard gestures that are already programmed in the system. Via programming, the gloves can be adjusted to different forms of sign languages and different spoken languages.
Just as there are a wide range of different spoken languages throughout the world, each sign language is unique from country to country.
Through an integrated software system, the gloves also allow for a Smartphone connection over Bluetooth.
A number of prototypes have been built and have been tested by sign language users in Ukraine. QuadSquad came up with the idea for the gloves through interactions with hearing-impaired athletes and the invention was placed among the six finalists in Microsoft's Imagine Cup which was held in Sydney.
There are around 70 million deaf people worldwide. The gloves can help deaf people and people who do not understand sign language to communicate with each other.