Electronic Wristbands Translate Sign Language Into Smartphone Speech

By Robert Sorokanich on at

A student team working with Google has come up with an ingenious way to translate signing into spoken word: electronic wristbands that measure the wearer's muscle activity, recognising sign language symbols and speaking them through an Android device. It could quite literally give signers a voice.

Students at the Berghs School of Communication in Sweden came up with Google Gesture as a way to enable signed conversation with those who don't use sign language. The signer wears two electronic wristbands which measure arm position and read the nerve impulses of the hand and arm muscles to recognise sign gestures. The bands send this information to an Android app, which translates the signs using the phone's voice.

Already, the student developers have won an award from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for their work. The project is still in development, so a release date hasn't yet been set. But just the sheer fact that this tech is feasible is an inspiration. Soon, speech recognition could reach far beyond the spoken word. [Berghs School of Communication via Mashable]