UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA. A prototype of a sign language translator that translates sign language into spoken words and vice versa was created to link the hearing impaired to the rest of the world.
It is a handheld device with a microphone, speakers, soundboard, video camera and a monitor. In order to function, it has to be placed on a hard surface where it can “read” sign language movements. After processing the actions, it translates the sign language into spoken language through an electronic voice. It can also process spoken voice and translate it into sign language projected through the monitor.
It was created through a team-up between students of engineering and industrial design of the University of Houston. Industrial designers had to work with people with hearing impairment to create the design. Engineering technologists have to program the device. The most difficult part of the task was to create the database of 200-300 images per sign.
The prototype won first place in the American Society of Engineering Education (ASSEE) Conference. It was meant as a collaborative senior capstone project for the students.
“While designing and developing it, it turned into something very personal. When we got to know members of the deaf community… it made this MyVoice very important to all of us… we hope to work with someone to implement this as a product,” said Aleman, an industrial design student who is part of the team.
|Invention||MyVoice Sign Language Translator|
|Organization||University of Houston, Texas, USA|
|Researcher||Engineering Technology Students: Anthony Tran, Jeffrey Seto, Omar Gonzalez and Alan TranIndustrial Design Students: Rick Salinas, Sergio Aleman and Ya-Han Chen|
|Field(s)||Industrial design, Engineering technology|
|Further Information||e! Science News|