Africa Tech

25-year-old Kenyan creates world’s first smart gloves that convert sign language into audio

A 25-year- old innovator from Kenya, has invented smart gloves which are able to convert sign language movements into audio speeches.

Roy Allela revealed that he was inspired to come up with this innovation after one of his niece’s was born deaf which makes it extremely difficult to communicate with other members of the family.

The smart gloves convert sign language into audio speech and makes communication easy with speech impaired people.

Sign-io’s sign language to speech translation glove recognizes various letters signed by sign language users. It then transmits this data to an Android application where it is vocalized.

Roy’s astounding creation gained him recognition by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). During the 2017 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) competition, the young talented innovator was among three persons from Africa who won the Grand Prize.

He was joined by Charles Antipem from Ghana who created Science Set, an affordable, portable, practical and highly scalable science lab that can fit in the bag and on the desk of students and Gitta from Uganda who developed Matibabu, a noninvasive device used to test for Malaria.

All three winners were among ten socially-minded hardware entrepreneurs who were selected among 150 applicants as finalist of the event, held at the Golden Tulip Westlands Nairobi Hotel. All the winners shared $500,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

More than 30 million people around the globe are currently suffering from speech impairments and must rely on sign language. This, therefore, poses a language barrier when trying to communicate with non-sign language users. But the newly invented smart gloves makes communication with speech impaired people much easier.

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