American Sign Language may soon be obsolete if these motion-sensing gloves come to market. For now, a UBC team are the only ones to enjoy harmonizing with their own themselves.
The gloves, designed by a team at the University of British Columbia led by Professor Sidney Fels, recognise their position in three-dimensional space and modulate an associated audible frequency. The right hand controls the basic sounds — an open hand creates vowels, closing it creates consonants while the pitch of the hand commands the pitch of the sound. The left hand controls "stops" for letters like B and P.
The team currently uses the device as a high-tech synthesiser allowing soloists to sing duet with themselves and have already put on multiple public performances with the help of electrical/computer engineering masters student and classical pianist, Johnty Wang. They also hope to adapt the system to control heavy machinery remotely. The worn device could also find use among the deaf, who could use it to communicate directly with the non-deaf using a series of hand gestures but without having to find an interpreter. [Live Science]