Smart Gloves Give Hearing-impaired People a Voice
Inventor Roy Allela created Sign-IO, smart gloves that allow the hearing-impaired to communicate with those who don't know sign language.
If you think that gloves only exist for the purpose of keeping your hands warm, think again. Kenyan inventor Roy Allela answered the question of how to give a voice to the hearing impaired with his smart gloves innovation, Sign-IO.
Allela needed a method to communicate with his then-six-year-old niece, who was born deaf. He decided to create a solution that would give his niece and others like her the ability to communicate with people who don’t know sign language.
But how do Sign-IO gloves work? The gloves have Bluetooth technology that allows them to connect to a mobile app. Every finger has a flex sensor and can detect the bend of a finger while processing the letters being signed. This technology allows hearing-impaired individuals to communicate more easily and faster than traditional sign language in certain situations.
Allela said that the customization of the gloves is another great aspect. They can be decorated with different colors, such as princess themed or Spider-Man themed, to encourage them to be worn by children.
The fact that the gloves have 93% accurate speech recognition is an absolute game-changer. It fights the social stigma associated with having a speech impediment and being deaf. Allela is currently planning to get his gloves into schools across Kenya to assist in giving hearing-impaired children the accessibility they need to learn better.
Technology has the potential to break down barriers that we never thought were possible to overcome. With innovations like Sign-IO gloves and people like Roy Allela pushing the boundaries, we can make a difference in people's lives, one invention at a time.