Feature

This futuristic sign language translator is incredible

It translates sign language into text when you touch it

Electronic glove.

American Sign Language users "could soon have a way to easily communicate" with those who don't understand signs, said Avery Thompson at Popular Mechanics. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have designed an electronic glove that can translate American Sign Language into text. Stretchable sensors on the backs of the glove's fingers detect digits' orientation, while an accelerometer tracks hand position. Together, the sensors can tell the shape and position of the hand well enough to convert the ASL alphabet into text on a smartphone or computer screen.

Timothy O’Connor/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

With two gloves, and improved software, the technology should be able "to translate any ASL sign." Researchers believe the gloves could one day be used to control objects in virtual reality. The prototype cost researchers just $100 to build, "and if this design is ever mass-produced, it's likely to become even cheaper than that."

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