Technology continues to shape the way we perceive and interact with one another, often improving our daily lives. We have created machines to help us hear, see, and move. Now, KinTrans, a Texas-based start-up has created a device to allow the deaf to communicate better with those who do and do not understand sign language.
KinTrans uses a 3D camera to track the movement of a person’s hands and body as they sign words. A sign language user can approach a bank teller and sign to the KinTrans camera that they’d like assistance, for example. The device then translates these signs into written English or Arabic for the teller to read.
The translation also works inversely–typewritten replies can be translated into signs.
Around 70 million people sign as a first language and there are more than 100 different dialects used around the world.
“It’s great to see innovative technology being developed that could really transform the lives of sign language users,” says Jesal Vishnuram at Action on Hearing Loss.
The technology is still in its early stages, but developers promise that with further research, machines will soon be readily available to the public.