Researchers at Mexico's National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) have developed a glove that would translate text and sign languages to facilitate conversation between speech- and hearing-impaired people and those not conversant with sign language, the institute said in a statement.
The prototype, created by Miguel Felix Mata and Helena Luna Garcia, senses hand movements of the user and identifies them with the 26 letters of the English alphabet, Spanish news agency Efe reported.
"Words and phrases are transmitted by Bluetooth to a mobile device with a preloaded application that displays and reads the signs," Luna said.
Once the message reaches the device, it plays voice, so the application user can understand what his differently-abled companion or acquaintance is trying to say.
Presently, the glove can only read letters of the international alphabet but soon it will be able to read the Mexican sign language too.
A new material in wearable technology and a conductive thread made from steel thicker than conventional cotton thread and that can be sewn with needle or a machine have been used to detect if the fingers are open or closed.
The base of the glove hand is sewn with polyester and nylon and include springs and sensors for strength and to maintain the structure of the hand.
The application, available on the Android platform as Glove Translator, is free but needs the glove to work, the prototype for which is awaiting patent and manufacturing, said IPN.