Translating is difficult work, the more so the further two languages are from one another. But sign language is a unique case, and translating it uniquely difficult, because it is fundamentally different from spoken and written languages. All the same, SignAll has been working hard for years to make accurate, real-time machine translation of ASL a reality.
Sign language translators are scarce. If you're hearing impaired, that's a huge problem. Three engineering students from the University of Antwerp have novel solution: Cheap 3D printed humanoids that can translate to sign language on the fly. It's a solution that's only become possible with the converge of 3D printing, the massive popularity of microcontrollers like the Arduino Due, and falling prices for robotics components. It's also the kind of "why didn't I think of that?" idea we'll see more of in the field of robotics as barriers to development keep falling.
While we usually see robotics applied to industrial or research applications, there are plenty of ways they could help in everyday life as well: an autonomous guide for blind people, for instance, or a kitchen bot that helps disabled folks cook. Or -- and this one is real -- a robot arm that can perform rudimentary sign language. It's part of a masters thesis from grad students at the University of Antwerp who wanted to address the needs of the deaf and hearing impaired. In classrooms, courts and at home, these people often need interpreters -- who aren't always available. Their solution is "Antwerp's Sign Language Actuating Node," or ASLAN.
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 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.
Machine translation systems that convert sign language into text and back again are helping people who are deaf or have difficulty hearing to communicate with those who cannot sign. A sign language user can approach a bank teller and sign to the KinTrans camera that they'd like assistance, for example. KinTrans's machine learning algorithm translates each sign as it is made and then a separate algorithm turns those signs into a sentence that makes grammatical sense. KinTrans founder Mohamed Elwazer says his system can already recognise thousands of signs in both American and Arabic sign language with 98 per cent accuracy.
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.
HURSLEY, UK--(Marketwire - September 13, 2007) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) has developed an ingenious system called SiSi (Say It Sign It) that automatically converts the spoken word into British Sign Language (BSL) which is then signed by an animated digital character or avatar. SiSi brings together a number of computer technologies. A speech recognition module converts the spoken word into text, which SiSi then interprets into gestures, that are used to animate an avatar which signs in BSL. Upon development this system would see a signing avatar'pop up' in the corner of the display screen in use -- whether that be a laptop, personal computer, TV, meeting-room display or auditorium screen. Users would be able select the size and appearance of the avatar.
Microsoft's Kinect has already proved its credentials in reading simple hand and body movements in the gaming world. But now a team of Chinese researchers have added sign language to its motion-sensing capabilities. Scientists at Microsoft Research Asia recently demonstrated software that allows Kinect to read sign language using hand tracking. What's impressive is that it can do this in real-time, translating sign language to spoken language and vice versa at conversational speeds. The system, dubbed the Kinect Sign Language Translator, is capable of capturing a conversation from both sides.