New Device Translates Sign Language into Speach and Speach into Text

Use of American Sign Language is considered, at least by the National Association of the Deaf, part of what is called “deaf culture.” However, most hearing people, unless they work with or know deaf people, do not “speak” sign.

This can be somewhat bothersome. Many people who are deaf also have difficulty speaking, lacking as they do the audio queues that are necessary to learn spoken language. It is also easier to communicate with deaf people using sign than relying on skills such as lip reading. It can make social situations for both the deaf and the hearing somewhat awkward if there is no one present who can both sign and speak.

There are also quite a number of sign languages, mostly adapted to other spoken languages, though there are also some regional versions. However there is enough similarity between various versions of sign language that deaf people from different countries can make themselves understood to one another with greater ease than hearing people. However, sign language gestures often communicate concepts rather than words, making exact translation into spoken language sometimes inexact.

However technology is advancing that will make the attempt to bridge sign into spoken language. According to SyFy Dvice, a new device, called the Sign Language Ring, is being developed to bridge the language gap between the hearing and the deaf. The ring consists of six finger rings that are connected to a bracelet. The finger rings translates the gestures into spoken words that are then emitted by the bracelet. The bracelet also translates spoken words into text displayed on a screen. The design is said to have been inspired by Buddhist prayer beads.

Presumably the bracelet can be programmed to handle whichever version of sign language the wearer uses as well as translate back into text and language being spoken.

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