Two University of Washington undergraduates, sophomores Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor, have won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech.
Their invention, “SignAloud,” is a pair of gloves that can recognize hand gestures that correspond to words and phrases in American Sign Language. Each glove contains sensors that record hand position and movement and send data wirelessly via Bluetooth to a central computer. The computer looks at the gesture data through various sequential statistical regressions, similar to a neural network. If the data match a gesture, then the associated word or phrase is spoken through a speaker.
“Many of the sign language translation devices already out there are not practical for everyday use. Some use video input, while others have sensors that cover the user’s entire arm or body,” said Pryor, an undergraduate researcher in the Composite Structures Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics and software lead for the Husky Robotics Team.
“Our gloves are lightweight, compact and worn on the hands, but ergonomic enough to use as an everyday accessory, similar to hearing aids or contact lenses,” said Pryor.
“Our purpose for developing these gloves was to provide an easy-to-use bridge between native speakers of American Sign Language and the rest of the world,” Azodi said. “The idea initially came out of our shared interest in invention and problem solving. But coupling it with our belief that communication is a fundamental human right, we set out to make it more accessible to a larger audience.”
There have been many negative responses to this invention, from concerns about misreading signs because facial expressions aren’t taken into account, to anger that this invention only encourages laziness and apathy from non-signers, putting more responsibility on the signers.
Read about this invention, watch a short video of theirs on our fb page (https://www.facebook.com/HISSign/), and let us know what you think about them and their impact on Deaf people and how they interact with the hearing world.
The Kennedy Center Presents:
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations
At the Eisenhower Theater
Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM
Friday, July 6, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Friday, July 13, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Don’t miss this electrifying new musical about “the greatest R&B group of all time.” With their signature dance moves and harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts, and their moving story still resonates five decades later. The show features such iconic hits as “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and many more.
To purchase tickets for a sign interpreted or captioned performance at the Kennedy Center, please call the services desk at 202-416-8528 (voice) or visit kennedy-center.org.
Do you work as an interpreter in court and other legal settings?
Are you interested in and committed to increasing the number and skill of interpreters of color and interpreters who come from heritage signing backgrounds?
If Yes, then Project CLIMB of the ASL & Interpreting Studies Department of the University of Northern Colorado is looking for you!
Cultivating Legal Interpreters from Minority Backgrounds
We are now recruiting for a cohort of experienced legal interpreters
More information and the full application in ASL and English is available here or on our website: http://www.unco.edu/project-climb/
Minimum criteria for participation:
- 3 or more years of experience interpreting in legal settings
- Qualified to work in court and legal settings where you live
- Able to attend the face to face session July 31 – August 5, 2018
Desired characteristics of participants:
- Evidence of prior legal training
- Experience in a variety of legal settings
- Knowledge and experience with teaching and/or mentoring
- Experience and comfort with online learning/distance education
- Evidence of commitment to creating inclusive and effective training opportunities for interpreters from marginalized backgrounds
Questions? Please visit our FAQs page:
If you have questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call: 720-216-2662 (VP), 970-351-3161 (voice), or visit unco.edu/project-climb/