Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interpreter Around Your Neck

Mac Funamizu has come up with a small, locket-sized device that goes around a person’s neck. The Sign Language Interpreter is designed to read hand gestures and then speak the signed words out loud. A camera picks up gestures and the wearer controls the volume.

What is unclear is how it does anything more than offer simple one-to-one word translation. That works with Signed English (which is not its own language) but with a full-fledged real language like ASL. American Sign Language has its own unique grammar structure and combines facial expressions with body movement, making it very difficult for these types of devices to translate it into spoken English.