A wearable for the understanding of language signs

Wearables are more than entertainment. For many people, advances in wearable technology represent a real improvement in their vital conditions. Wearable devices become essential accessories for those who must make an extra effort to adapt to a society not really much prepared for their physical conditions. We refer to gadgets created to make the world a more accessible place for people with functional diversity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15% of the world’s population suffers from some type of disability. One of the most widespread physical disabilities is deafness, suffered by 72 million people around the world, according to data from the World Federation of the Deaf.

We recently talked about the WeWalk Smart Cane, for blind people, which concentrates all the technology of a smartphone in this simple and fundamental tool. Today we speak about the latest in wearable technology for the hearing impaired.


The development and regularization of sign language has been a real step forward in favor of the inclusion of deaf people. Communication with the environment is essential for the survival and well-being of any living being. However, sign language presents a fundamental problem, and that is that only a small part of the population dominates its use. This creates serious problems for people with hearing disabilities, since this kind of contact and communication can result in situations of isolation, marginalization and inequality. In addition, as a result of the mandatory use of a mask due to the health crisis, deaf people are faced with a new barrier that prevents them from reading lips and understanding their interlocutors.

To overcome these communication barriers, researchers at the University of California have developed a smart glove that automatically translates sign language. Although there are other predecessor inventions in the market, this is undoubtedly the most interesting.

It is a prototype of a simple mechanism. The glove is made up of different polyester-wrapped cables that collect and record hand movements. The processor, located on the back, assigns the movements to the information about the different signs. Once the sign is recognized, this information is sent to the mobile application via Bluetooth, where the word associated with that sign will be played. According to the researchers themselves, the glove has an accuracy of 98.63%. In addition, the entire process happens in real time in less than a second.