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A New Translating Device for American Sign Language

Xbox users are no stranger to "Kinect" - a motion sensing input device developed by Microsoft.  Maybe you've experienced the Kinect version of the popular smartphone/tablet game, Fruit Ninja, using your arms to slice through the fruit on the screen, or the dancing mini-game on Star Wars which registers the movement of your entire body and can then rate how well you are completing the moves on screen.

Now, however, Kinect has moved to a whole new level with its latest development - being able to register and translate sign language.

 

This has always been a forseeable possibility with Kinnect technology.  In the past, it was able to recognize larger gestures, but any sort of detailed translating device has been out of reach... until now. 

 A collaboration between Microsoft Research Asia and the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has enabled Kinect to read, for the most part, every gesture in American Sign Language and then translate it into English or another language.

It isn't just one-word-at-a-time translations, either.  It can recognize full sentences and phrases and grammatically structure the translations to make sense.  It's honestly pretty impressive, and is leaps and bounds ahead of other ASL translating devices in the industry.  While it does require the speaker to stand in front of a TV, one can only imagine what kind of progress this technology will make with time.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

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Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

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Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).