Students invented a vibration language and equipment to help deaf people

Students invented a vibration language and equipment to help deaf people

The HART team at Eindhoven University of Technology consists of a total of 17 students who have been working with an unusual wearable over the past 12 months. By developing a special sleeve, they somewhat invented the language of vibration, which, according to the original idea, is to facilitate conversation in other languages.

By developing a vibration-based translator, students invented a completely new “language of vibration”

The system consists of a computer that in the current version only converts written text into English and takes the form of a prototype piece of cloth in the form of a sleeve, accompanied by a computer. However, the team is already working on incorporating AI into the process so that the configuration is able to translate speech in any language into ‘vibration language’ and also find a way to embed this piece of technology into ‘ordinary’ clothing.

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At the moment, the device works in such a way that it recognizes and converts into unique vibrations 39 different sounds of the English language, which are generated by motors built in the hands. This means learning each vibration and its meaning, but it’s supposed to be easy and Lisa Overdevest, Team HART president, proved it by learning it in a month in 1-hour sessions every other day.

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The potential in this technology is huge, but there is still a lot of work ahead of students to be able to talk about success. There are a lot of applications of this type of systems – from the aforementioned automatic translators to devices enabling communication for deaf people.


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