Category: Communicators General

My Voice

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-- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of an American Sign Language (ASL) translator that uses video to capture and then interpret a person's sign language movements. Students at the University of Houston designed a device called MyVoice, an ASL translator that uses a video camera to capture a person's sign language movements. MyVoice is a portable device that incorporates a microphone, speaker, soundboard, video camera, and monitor. The device has a stand on the back that folds out so it can stand upright on a hard level surface with the camera pointed toward the ASL user. The device can then "read" the hand gestures of the person with hearing disabilities by using the camera to capture the images, which are then interpreted by software and then translated into spoken English. MyVoice speaks with an electronic voice. The device also works in reverse by capturing a person's spoken words and projecting the appropriate hand sign onto the its monitor. MyVoice can be used by both deaf and non-deaf people to understand one another. Students sampled a database of images to train their software to recognize the ASL hand signs, according to the Univeristy of Houston news release. The team used between 200 and 300 images per sign. MyVoice is still in the prototype stages and it is unclear how well the translation algorithms work; however, the device was able to congratulate the students on winning a first-place award at the American Society of Engineering Education conference by translating the single phrase, "Good job, Cougars." AUTHOR: Ben Coxworth. TITLE: Students develop portable sign-language translator. WEBSITE: Gizmag. REF:


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My Voice