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HandTalk: A glove that (supposedly) translates sign language


There's a glove being developed at Carnegie Melon University which is supposed to translate ASL hand shapes into speech, via a mobile phone. One would hope some collaboration is happening with linguists.

Now I don't know the first thing about the linguistics of ASL, but as a mere user of another sign langauge - BSL - I can't see this working well anytime soon.

Receptive BSL requires a recognition of facial expression and an understanding of placement. Would some crazy device be developed that incorporates facial expression and body movement picked up in some Wii like fashion? Let not the mind limit possibilities here, if man can go to the moon and all that! However, it kind of feels a bit mind blowing, and I'm feeling old! Give me a human interpreter.

But. Who exactly would wear a huge glove like that? Would you?

Sure, its a prototype, and scientists being scientists are seeing how they can push boundaries. In all seriousness, at least this computer works with different languages, and does not seek to change the user but work with them. On the same basis as electronic translation tools for spoken languages.

However, I'm not sure I'll be taking this up anytime soon. Its will that gets you by with communication.

HandTalk Project
HandTalk: A Glove that speaks for the Deaf
Glove converts sign language into sound
HandTalk Glove Turns Sign Language Into Words via Cellphone

Comments (3)

Just started a new website and would like some critical comment on it



This is very cool! I love technology and this ranks right up there. Even though I understand that facial expressions are a huge part of signing, it is still interesting!

I think this will not work in any form, because its only based on a HAND , Sign language is also a BODY language too. Imagine if I did some fingerspelling combined with body language , , everyone has thier own unique identify in the deaf world . and as Abbie says , facial expressions wil be a part of it .

Hence , if they did a Cat suit style with techonology with nodes and linked up to a computer , then prehaps they could program a movement to a word. , but nothing will take the human out of the human . Imagine me lifting up a leg and saying walk or run walk slowly , the combinations are so severe , and what happens if i had a bad day, my movements were of a diffrent standard ... This talk of mapping the sign language wiill take years and years of mastering it , and even now I can just imagine saying Hello , when in fact i said goodbye

no this will not work


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