The cutting-edge glove features thin, stretchable sensors running to the fingertips. These sensors can detect motions and finger placement through electrically conducting yarns.
Those sensors are then connected to a tiny circuit board – approximately the size of a coin worn on users’ wrists.
When people move their hands and fingers to form ‘words’, the glove translates the individual letters, numbers, words and phrases into audible language.
Extra sensors can be added to the face, between the eyebrows and on the sides of the mouth, to capture facial expressions.
The actual translation takes place through a smartphone app.
Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London, told CNN: “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”
“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly.
“It would be so much easier if tech focused on user-driven and user-centred design in the first instance, rather than dreaming up ‘solutions’ they think will fix all the problems in the world.”