Future development: Sign language translated to English

Future development: Sign language translated to English

October 20, 2015 By kirsten

    Sign language translation  to English is a new future development. The engineers at the A&M University at Texas are working on is a wearable sensor that can translate the gestures of the sign language into English. This invention could be the solution for communication problems between people who don’t understand the sign language and deaf people. Moreover, the quality and easiness of life will be drastically improved for deaf people. The wearable device consists of sensors that detect the movement and muscle activity in the arm and then translate it into English.

    How this future development works:

    The engineers found out that there have been other attempts to translate the sign language to English in their initial research. However, all those attempts have been a failure. But failure could not stop research on this future development. The failure was due to the vision on camera based solutions. Roozbeh Jafari is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University. He explains that the previous designs have failed their purpose because they weren’t able to distinct the hand gestures and finger movements of the sign language. The new device uses two distinct sensors that figure out the gestures that a person makes. That’s how he and the team got the idea to create a device that combines muscle activation and motion sensors. One of the sensors responds to the movement of the muscles in the arm while the other one responds to the motion of the wrist. With the help of a program, the information received by the two sensors is being converted i.e. translated to English.

    Planned improvements of the device

    Once the program is expanded the team of engineers will start building a more substantial vocabulary. They also plan to adjust the device so that it can respond to individual movement. Every person has a different muscle structure which makes it harder for the device to work. Jafari also plans to give bigger effectiveness to the sensors. That will make the device useful in real life conversations. For now, the device can translate one word at a time and the team wants to make it translate real conversations. Time will say how will effect us this future development.

    image of feature development sign language

    The ultimate vision behind this future development

    Jafari’s idea is to develop this device in the future so that humans can communicate with computers. Just like people are used to giving key commands to some electronic devices. Jafari’s project was presented in June, at the 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference.

    Image Credit: theguardian.com