An electric glove which can convert sign language into text messages has been unveiled by scientists. The device consists of a sports glove which has been fitted with nine stretchable sensors positioned over the knuckles. When a user bends their fingers or thumb to sign a letter, the sensors stretch, which causes an electrical signal to be produced. When a user bends their fingers or thumb to sign a letter, the sensors stretch, which causes an electrical signal to be produced.
A computer that learns to talk in the same way as a young child by holding conversations with humans has been developed by scientists. The machine, which uses cutting edge artificial neural network technology to mimic the way the human brain works, was given 1,500 sentences from literature about language structure. It was then able to use this to learn how to construct new sentences with nouns, verbs, adjectives and pronouns when having a conversation with a real human. Researchers used connections between two million artificial neurons to mimic some of the processes that take place in the human brain as we learn to speak (illustrated). While some of the sentences had the rather functional approach of a computer rather than the finesse of a natural speaker, the results are still impressive.
The "communication android", as Toshiba is calling its creation, was unveiled this week at the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), Japan, and has been designed for a maximum of movement fluidity in its hands and arms, employing 43 actuators in its joints, in order to speak in Japanese sign language. At this point, its range is fairly limited: it can mimic simple movements, such as greetings, but the company has plans to develop the robot -- named Aiko Chihira -- into a full communications robot by 2020. This will include speech synthesis, speech recognition, robotic control and other sensors. The end goal, the company said, is a robot that can serve as a "companion for the elderly and people with dementia, to offer telecounseling in natural speech, communicate through sign language and allow healthcare workers or family members to keep an eye on elderly people." If the robot looks familiar, that's because it was developed in collaboration with Osaka University, which has been developing humanoid robots for some time.
For people living in a world without sound, sign language can make sure their points of view are heard. But outside of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, this gesture-based language can lose its meaning. Now a pair of entrepreneurial technology students in the US has designed a pair of gloves to break down the communication barriers, by translating hand gestures into speech. US inventors have designed a pair of gloves, called'SignAloud', which translate the gestures of sign language to spoken English. The gloves (pictured) use embedded sensors to monitor the position and movement of the user's hands, while a central computer analyses the data and converts gestures to speech Called'SignAloud', the gloves use embedded sensors to monitor the position and movement of the user's hands.