A new glove developed at the University of California, San Diego, can convert the 26 letters of American Sign Language (ASL) into text on a smartphone or computer screen. "For thousands of people in the UK, sign language is their first language," says Jesal Vishnuram, the technology research manager at the charity Action on Hearing Loss. In the UK, someone who is deaf is entitled to a sign language translator at work or when visiting a hospital, but at a train station, for example, it can be incredibly difficult to communicate with people who don't sign. The flexible sensors mean that you hardly notice that you are wearing the glove, says Timothy O'Connor who is working on the technology at the University of California, San Diego.
Aside from adding a funny spin to a message, GIFs can now teach you sign language. Giphy recently released a GIF library of more than 2,000 words and phrases in American Sign Language. The GIF's are based on the video series Sign with Robert with Robert DeMayo, who has been deaf since he was born. Aside from adding a funny spin to a message, GIFs can now teach you sign language. Giphy recently released a GIF library of more than 2,000 words and phrases in American Sign Language.
To create the GIFs, Giphy cut videos from the popular educational series Sign With Robert, adding text descriptions to make the GIFs look like looping flash cards. "The looping format makes it a perfect tool for learning through repetition." The team at Giphy worked to cut down these existing videos into individual words and phrases to create the expansive collection of GIFs. Though Giphy plans to continue growing the library of GIFs, the team chose to include words and phrases by looking at Giphy users' top search terms.
Even before the current war on terrorism, security checks at airports and in other places were often a problem for deaf people, who can't hear the buzz of metal detectors or the commands of security guards. Many deaf people are not fluent in English, so posted signs aren't always helpful. Using sign-language interpreters at every security station is not the answer, either, because of the cost and limited availability of trained personnel. In the near future, "Paula" could provide a solution to this communication barrier, as well as many others. Paula is a computer-generated synthetic interpreter developed by a team of faculty and students in the School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems at DePaul University in Chicago.