What a brilliant idea! A group of Ukrainian students have invented a sensory gloves that work with an app to turn sign language into automated speech. The Enable Talk project won first place ($25,000 grand prize) at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2012 this week in Sydney, Australia.
Students on the winning Team QuadSquad — Anton Stepanov, Anton Posternikov, and Maxim Osika — beat out 350 students from 75 countries for the gold. Their Enable Talk glove that allows deaf and hearing-impaired individuals the ability to communicate with those who don’t know sign language.
The glove picks up the hand gestures and the Enable Talk smartphone app translates the data. The app is wirelessly connected through Bluetooth technology. The team uses Microsoft’s Speech and Bing APIs to translate and play what’s been signed.
The contest’s cash prize of $25,000 will cover more than half of the $40,000 needed to start pre-production. Costs will cover software development and system testing. The current product prototype retails around $50. In the short future Enable Talk will probably cost around $20 each.