Is the age of smart jewelry finally upon us? For the deaf, the barrier of language may be coming down sooner than anybody might think.
For the hearing impaired the future may have just arrived in the form of a ring and bracelet capable of translating sign language into spoken word and voices into text.
There have been many developments in speech to text and text to speech equipment, but designers at Asia University have now integrated motion sensing technology to develop the Sign Language Ring. The SLR converts the hand movements involved in sign language into speech by using tiny sensors located in six rings, worn on the thumb, middle, and pointer finger on both hands and a bracelet. The bracelet has a small speaker which then emits speech. The bracelet also interprets other people’s words and displays them as text on an LED screen on top of the bracelet. The entire system is highly customizable allowing the wearer to create movement shortcuts.
The rings, which were based on Buddhist prayer beads, store easily inside the bracelet in a nice compact package that can easily fit in a purse. And the look is sufficiently stylish and high tech enough to be worn as fashion accoutrements without embarrassment.
The Sign Language Ring won the 2013 Red Dot Design Award and is very much in development, but all signs point to what could be a major break through in the way the hearing impaired communicate with the world.