A smart glove that converts sign language into text and speech in real time is helping individuals who use sign language to communicate without the need for a translator.
Hadeel Ayoub was moved to design the BrightSign prototype during her MA in Computational Arts after receiving a video from a desperate mother of her teenage son struggling to be understood on a train while using sign language. The glove is equipped with multiple sensors and machine learning software to enable individuals who use sign language to communicate through text or digital voice directly.
Now completing a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology at Goldsmiths, Hadeel and a research team have continued to develop the glove and prepare it for international sale. Several versions of the glove have been developed, including one predominantly aimed at children, and a lighter version which can send spoken translations directly to the wearer's phone. Through machine learning software, each user can train the glove to their custom signs and variations, and choose the speech language (for example, English, Arabic or French) so it can be used across the world.
With 70 million sign language users globally, and 90% of deaf children being born to hearing parents, the glove has the potential to revolutionise communication across barriers.