KOZHIKODE: Four students from Kerala are set to revolutionise the way the speech and hearing- impaired people communicate. They have developed a cost-effective “Smart Glove” which can convert sign language into text, making it easy for the deaf and mute to interact with others.
P A Gouri Sankar, Rahul Kuriakose, Nishant M Namboodiri and P Neeraj --- the final year electrical and electronics engineering students at SCMS School of Engineering and Technology, Ernakulam --- are in the process of setting up a startup to begin the production of the device, which may cost Rs 7,000 per unit if manufactured on a large scale.
“We developed the device as part of our final-year project. As we demonstrated its functions, our teachers turned enthusiastic and motivated us to take it further forward,” said Gouri.
“The device helps the differently-abled to convert their sign language into readable text. It can convert 26 alphabetical and 10 numerical symbols from sign language into normal text, displaying them on an LCD monitor. The sensors in the glove read each alphabet or the numerical which has a unique sign gesture. So whenever a particular gesture is made, the corresponding alphabet or number will be displayed through a wired connection to the LCD monitor,” said the students.
An Adaptive Learning Technology has also been incorporated so that each user can store the gesture that befits his own palm structure and preference for each letter making it faster, responsive and more user-friendly. “We’re now in the process of making the device more compact, wearable and sleek in design. Programming is challenging with every modification we make while hardware fabrication has been considerably easier,” added Gouri.
The students plan to make the device affordable to common people when they begin production. “It cost us Rs 12,000 for developing each device, but if made on a large scale, we can cut it to almost half,” added the students.