Wearable Sensors Will Help Deaf People to Communicate Verbally.
Yes, you read that correctly. You might wonder how this will be enabled. It all comes down to a magic word: Technology.
Wearable sensors will provide a high-tech solution and be able to interpret the gestures in sign language and translate them into English, making the barrier between deaf people and those who don’t understand sign language. Engineers at A&M University in Texas are currently developing wearable devices that can sense movement and muscle activity in an individual’s arm.
How does this life-enhancing device work? This device operates by figuring out the gestures someone is making by the utilization of two distinct sensors. These sensors consist of one that is able to react to the motion of the wrist and the other one to the muscular movement in the arm. Afterward, a program wirelessly receives this data and converts it into English translation. After doing some research, the engineers concluded that there are devices that aimed at translating sign language into text – these did unfortunately not have a very advanced design. A prototype system was developed that recognizes words that people use daily in their daily conversations. Gradually more words are added that are not frequently used with the means to initiate a more profound vocabulary.
Even though the technology has the potential to drastically enhance the lives of deaf people, an important drawback is associated with the system. The system has to be trained to respond to each individual that wears the device. This training process involves in asking the user to repeat every hand gesture a couple of times. The latter can take up to 30 minutes to complete. The underlying reason for this mechanism lies in the fact that each body and each muscle structure is different, obliging the system to get acquainted with the user’s body movements (Dodgson, 2015).
What do you think about this technology? Do you believe it will enhance many people’s lives or make it more difficult?
Dodgson, L. (2015). Wearable Sensors Could Translate Sign Language Into English. Retrieved from: http://www.livescience.com/52491-wearable-sensors-translate-sign-language.html