A 25-year old Kenyan has invented smart gloves that convert sign language into audio. Roy Allela is a Kenyan Microprocessor Technologist with interest in machine learning. He is a Royal Academy of Engineering 2018 LIF Fellow and was the overall winner of the 2017 edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers ISHOW hardware competition.
Roy was motivated to invent the smart glove to aid his six-year old niece who was born deaf. Since no member of the family understood sign language, communicating with the niece became a challenge. Like a saying goes, no barrier is too strong for a willing person, Allela innovated the smart glove to assist the family to comprehend the sign language of his niece.
More than 30 million people around the globe have speech impairments and must rely on sign language, which poses a language barrier when seeking to communicate with non-sign language users. This innovation will not only solve his immediate niece’s problem, but will assist all deaf people in the world to easily communicate with others without difficulties.
Sign-io’s sign language to speech translation glove recognizes various letters signed by sign language users and transmits this data to an Android application where it is vocalized.