ScienceDaily (June 2, 2010) — Spanish sign language is used by over 100,000 people with hearing impairments and is made up of hundreds of signs. CVC-UAB researchers Sergio Escalera, Petia Radeva and Jordi Vitrià selected over twenty of these signs to develop a new visual interpretation system which allows deaf people to carry out consultations in the language they commonly use.
Signs can vary slightly depending on each user. Project researchers took this into account during the trials carried out with different people to help the system "become familiarised" with this variability. The signs recognised by the system were programmed to allow deaf people to maintain a basic conversation, including asking for help or directions. "For them it is a non artificial way of communicating and at the same time they can engage with people who do not speak sign language since the system translates the symbols into words in real time," Sergio Escalera said.
The hardware includes a video camera which records image sequences when it detects the presence of a user wanting to make a consultation. A computer vision and automatic learning system detects face, hand and arm movements, as well as any screen scrolling, and incorporates these into a classification system which identifies each movement with the word associated with the sign.
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