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Microsoft ­ses Kinect to Interpret Sign Language From Deaf People

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man using ASL

Credit: American Sign Language University

Microsoft Research developers are using the Kinect technology to develop a system that can read sign language from deaf users and translate it into spoken text. Developers have been training the Kinect translator to recognize sign language, and so far it can recognize 370 of the most popular words in American Sign Language and Chinese Sign Language. The system can turn sign language into words spoken by a computer and can also do the reverse; a non-deaf user can speak or type words into the Kinect translator and it will motion the words in sign language using a virtual avatar shown on a display.

Microsoft has been working on the technology for about 18 months, and is collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Union University. The system could potentially enable deaf users to more easily communicate with non-sign language speakers. Microsoft researchers say they will continue to improve language recognition and expand the vocabulary of the system.

From IDG News Service
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