It’s always been the sticking point with sign language: you can only really communicate with people who can also sign. Without a translator or some kind of visual aid, communication is pretty tough for the 30 million people who are dealing with some kind of speech impairment.
But 25-year-old Kenyan inventor Roy Allela might have just cracked the sign-language code. He’s created smart gloves which turn sign language into audio speech.
The gloves are known as Sign-IO. Each finger has sensors stitched over the top, which track and measure your hand movements. The sensors send that information to an app on your phone, which translates it in real time and spits out the words. Allela even coded the gloves to adapt to your signing patterns, so if you’re a fast or slow signer (like being a fast or slow talker) the gloves will match your pace.