Enable Talk: Pair of sensory gloves that gives voice to speech impaired
Most would say communication is the easiest thing possible given the different types of communication devices we have at hand these days. But ask a deaf, a mute or a deaf-mute how difficult communication can get for them, particularly when very few people understand sign language. Enable Talk by Ukrainian team QuadSquad, a finalist at the Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is perhaps an inexpensive answer to this communication problem for people who communicate using sign language.
Project Enable Talk is a pair of gloves made using flexible sensors, accelerometer and gyroscope, which can translate sign language into text and then using text-to-speech software translates text into spoken words. The glove uses Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone or other mobile device and is powered by solar cells to enhance battery life.
A number of prototypes of the glove have been created and successfully tested in Ukraine, with hardware that the team believes costs about $75 for each glove. Built for the Microsoft Cup the glove therefore includes Microsoft technology, it probably runs a Windows Mobile OS before the WP7. Yet, the best thing about Enable Talk is that the user can customize gestures that the glove understands, thus it will be compatible with any type of sign language from any part in the world.