Inclusivity: Talking gloves for the unhearings
At times when our voices are not heard, we feel despair. But think about users of sign language, they have never been heard and understood by most people. How would that feel?
A gesture-recognition invention by three students at Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School has minimised the gap between sign and verbal communication. Noddy Chung Ho Fai, Jacky Chan Ka Lung and Michael Ng Chak Lam created a pair of smart gloves which allow the deaf to easily communicate with strangers through a smartphone app by translating finger and hand movements into text.
Flex sensors are attached on each finger of the prototype gloves. As the sensor is flexed, the resistance across the sensor increases and data is collected based on how much the finger bends. At the back of the hand, a gyroscope detects acceleration and angle of the hand. The data collected is then transmitted through a bluetooth chip on the back of the glove. Upon receiving the data, a breadboard translates the digits into comprehensible language, which can be presented on the app as text or even speech.
In 2017, the team won the champion in Senior Division of the Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition. After then they went on to win the Bronze Award in the Engineering category of I-SWEEEP 2017, an international competition held in the United States which challenges students to tackle global issues.
Most of us take for granted our inborn ability of hearing and speech. For those constrained by a barrier of unseen sights and unheard sounds, it was once unexplored territory – but with the translating gloves, they are given a whole new world in the palm of their hands.
This is what inclusive design does to benefit the wellbeing of every person in society. In Knowledge of Design Week 2017, focused on “Living. Connecting. Moving”, speakers from around the world shared the ideas on how inclusive design can effectively create both social impact and business value. A book titled "Include. Design. Society. ", in collaboration of Hong Kong Design Centre and City Magazine, summarising all the topics discussed in KODW 2017. The talking glove is also one of the three local examples quoted in this publication, which is now available at major bookstores.
More information of "Include. Design. Society.” : https://goo.gl/LWwCgQ
Three students at Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School, Noddy Chung Ho Fai, Jacky Chan Ka Lung and Michael Ng Chak Lam, created a pair of smart gloves that can translate finger and hand movements into text. (Photo by CityMagazine)
The smart gloves collect data from finger and hand movement, allowing the deaf to easily communicate with strangers through a smartphone app. (Photo by CityMagazine)