No Empty Gesture: Ingenious Sign Language Translator

The development of standardized sign language was revolutionary in the journey to open the world up for hearing impaired people. But just like with any other language, people who primarily use sign language to communicate can often find themselves at a loss when it comes to conversing with people who don’t know sign language.

Design student Luise Pescheck designed the Gestics hand movement translator to convert sign language into spoken words, making it easier for hearing impaired people to integrate into the hearing world.

A stretchy band worn on the wrist detects arm muscle movements made by the person communicating via sign language. A dedicated iPhone application translates the gestures into audio and the other person’s spoken words into written text on a projected screen.

It’s the projected screen that takes this concept deep into impossible territory. As far as we know, this is beyond the capabilities of the iPhone of today and will probably continue to be impossible in future iPhone generations. But the idea is an awesome way to help hearing impaired people communicate with the hearing world, so we can always hope that the technical issues will be worked out at some point.

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See more in Unbuilt Concepts or under Technology. September, 2011.