Show & Tell: Texting Glove for the Hearing Impaired

The "Show & Tell" texting glove illuminates the untapped potential for wearable technology to become an innovative communication tool, especially for individuals with special needs.

Developed by Oleg Imanilov, Tomer Daniel & Zvika Markfeld, the texting glove made its debut at the Google Developers Day in TEL-AVIV 2011.

It is designed with a Lilypad Arduino, flex sensors on the fingers, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and an ADK Board (Android Open Accessory Development Kit). The data is communicated to an Andriod phone which uses custom software to translate hand gestures (sign language)  into text messages.

The glove does require one time calibration and training.

What confuses me about the glove is the specific context of use. I'm not sure why a person with a hearing disability would need a glove to send text messages. If it was positioned as a communication tool for an individual with a hearing disability to interact with others in the real world, it may make a bit more sense. Considering this is a mere prototype, I may overlook this particularly odd flaw in experience design.

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Comment by meg on December 14, 2011 at 11:22am

wonderful - i've been waiting for someone to make this!  i think that the idea is, when working at full potential, this glove would act as a type of live, audible sub-titles for hearing-impaired people to communicate with hearing people.  very useful for those who find it difficult to communicate through speech and lip-reading!

Comment by Melissa Coleman on December 13, 2011 at 12:10pm

I really like it, but I have to agree with you on wondering what it could realistically be used for. Perhaps for subtitling spontaneous speeches in sign language? Having said that: I'm hoping that the Kinect will solve that specific problem at some point because a glove would make such an event considerably less spontaneous.

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