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Wearable translates sign language

sign language wearable
Jun Chen Lab/UCLA

Bioengineers at UCLA have pioneered a wearable communication tool that can translate sign language into English speech in real-time via an app. Sensors inside ‘wearable-tech gloves’ detect letters from hand movements sending the information to an app that converts it into spoken words.

“Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” explained Jun Chen, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and the principal investigator on the research. “In addition, we hope it can help more people learn sign language themselves.”

The lightweight gloves are inexpensive to make and a major departure from earlier efforts, which were too ‘bulky and heavy’.

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Susan Robertson
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Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and a board member of the APOPO Foundation UK.

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