Ryan Patterson Age 17 Sign Language Glove

January 24, 2012 by staff 

Ryan Patterson Age 17 Sign Language Glove, Ryan Patterson’s award-winning sign language translator uses a leather golf glove with 10 sensors, a micro controller and a radiofrequency transmitter to translate hand signals into printed text.
Instant messaging has improved communications for the deaf so significantly it’s been called a “godsend” by one. Now, a glove that can translate American Sign Language into text may improve communications even further.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Patterson designed a sign language translator glove that works by sensing the hand movements of the sign language alphabet, then wirelessly transmitting the data to a portable device that displays the text on-screen.

The high school senior, who is not deaf himself, built a prototype of the sign language translator using a leather golf glove with 10 sensors, a small circuit board containing a micro controller,anlog-to-digital converter and a radio-frequency transmitter.

“It’s a very novel idea,” said Larry Scott, chair of the audiology department at National Technical Institute for the Deaf. “I think it’s a great idea and there are some great possibilities for it.”

Patterson’s creation netted him a first place $103,000 scholarship in the Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology competition in December.

Like voice recognition software, the user has to train the glove before using it. A person loads the software into a computer, trains the program, then downloads the data to the portable receiver (about the size of a cell phone).

Unlike voice recognition software, however, it only takes a few minutes to train the program.

“Just like people have different voices, they also have different-sized hands and different hand movements,” Patterson said.

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