Two undergraduate students at the University of Washington have worked to invent a new way to communicate. Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize — an American search for the most inventive undergraduate and graduate students — for their invention, SignAloud gloves, which can translate American Sign Language into speech or text.
Azodi told UW Today:
“Our purpose for developing these gloves was to provide an easy-to-use bridge between native speakers of American Sign Language and the rest of the world. The idea initially came out of our shared interest in invention and problem solving. But coupling it with our belief that communication is a fundamental human right, we set out to make it more accessible to a larger audience.”
Each of the SignAloud gloves has sensors that record movement and gestures then transmit the info wirelessly to a central computer. The computer then looks at the data, and if it matches a gesture, then the associated word or phrase is spoken through a speaker.