Two University of Washington undergrads have won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventing gloves that translate sign language into speech. The honor is only awarded to seven student teams per year, but Thomas Pryor and Navid Azodi were clear standouts with their revolutionary invention SignAloud.
SignAloud uses a series of sensors embedded in lightweight gloves to track and interpret the hand motions associated with ASL. The gloves then send the information to a computer wirelessly and the sign language is “spoken” through a speaker system.
“Our purpose for developing these gloves was to provide an easy-to-use bridge between native speakers of American Sign Language and the rest of the world,” Azodi said. “The idea initially came out of our shared interest in invention and problem solving. But coupling it with our belief that communication is a fundamental human right, we set out to make it more accessible to a larger audience.”
See it in action below, and share to spread some smiles!