Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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A new soon-to-be wearable for deaf

A new soon-to-be wearable for deaf

Students and lead researchers in the bio-medical engineering department of Texas A&M University have created a new armband.

The novel technology is aimed at converting the sign language of the deaf and dumb into text. Google is contributing in developing software which will translate the speech from one language to another.

The basic usage of the wearable is converting the wrist movements and muscle activities into words. The arm band ought to be worn by the person who is signing. The band includes various sensors with different nature that can track gestures performed by you along with the muscle movements which produce electromyography (EMG) signals.

The sensor after gathering all the data decodes it and then sent it as a text to the receiver. The connectivity is done through Bluetooth, which in turn sends the information to the attached device; PC or Smartphone.

Roozbeh Jafari, associate professor of biomedical engineering, while explaining their new venture said that the muscle activities are captured from the wrist and then decoded.  She further said;

“Some of it is coming from the fingers indirectly because if I happen to keep my fist like this versus this, the muscle activation is going to be a little different.”

The research team is also focusing in reducing the size and fitting it into a smart watch. The developers are also focusing on the software and making it more capable. The team currently desires on making the system worthy of translating whole sentence in a single sweep. The concept device or the prototype which has already made by the group only includes the conversion of one word at a time.

If the idea of developing a smart watch succeeds, than it would certainly be beneficial for many. The new device could also include a speaker that can give a mock voice to the deaf people. They would sign their conversations and the sensor, through capturing the wrist movements, will translate the sign into text which in turn would be announced through the speaker.

Although the new method would be slow, but if the signing and the conversion is fast than the conversation could go pretty well.

Jafari, who is also part of the team, said that;

“When you wear the system for the first time the system operates with some level of accuracy. But as you start using the system more often, the system learns from your behavior and it will adapt its own learning models to fit you.”

If the wearable turns out the way, researchers claim; than it is going to be helpful for many. With the deaf and dumb having the easiest way to feel natural and close to the ordinary; the device would gain a lot of attention from many different training institutes.

The idea along with the detailing, functions and the procedure is eccentric and notable. If introduced on platforms like; Kickstarter; it sure is going to have number of backers and generous donors.

Kainaat Maqbool
The writer is a student of journalism, pursuing her passion for writing. She is an avid reader and wants to be a novel writer or a fashion editor someday!

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