Tech Rings Give The Deaf a ‘Voice’

Being the overenthusiastic-borderline-ADHD-five-year-old-that’s-had-too-much-sugar type that I am – it’s no surprise that a bit of science-fiction, Blade Runner style tech has me saying “this is the best thing I have ever seen”… but “this is the best thing I have ever seen”.

What the “thing” is, is a very space-age bracelet and set of detachable Sign Language Rings  for the hearing impaired, translating the distinct movements of sign-language into a ‘voice’ for the wearer. The winner of the much sought-after and prestigious red dot international product design award, the wearer can engage in complex every day signing conversations in which what they ‘say’ is translated into a disembodied computer voice from a speaker in the bracelet.

Created by half a dozen very talented designers from Tokyo’s Asia University – and inspired in style by Buddhist prayer beads –this innovation really does offer an immediate, and arguably the most practical, use of wearable tech to date.

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What’s more, the device has the functionality to translate the voice of the wearer’s verbal sparring partner into text, transcribing spoken language picked up by a microphone into text displayed on the bracelet’s scrolling screen.

Much like smart-phone smart dictionaries and predictive text, the user also has the opportunity to pre-record an array of signing movements and assign specific words to them – going someway to solving the multiplicity and distinct nuances of sign-languages in existence.

Quite simply, amazing.

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