To help people with hearing impairments communicate better with the rest of the world, two undergrads at the University of Washington developed a pair of gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech. The truly ‘smart' gloves rely on sensors that record the wearer's hand position and movement. This data is sent via Bluetooth to a computer that matches the movement to a word or phrase, which is then spoken out loud through speakers.
"Our gloves are lightweight, compact and worn on the hands, but ergonomic enough to use as an everyday accessory, similar to hearing aids or contact lenses," said Thomas Pryor, inventor of the "SignAloud" gloves. Together, Pryor and his partner, Navid Azodi, claimed the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize with their invention.