A Chinese startup has found a way to commercialize and mass produce a smart glove that can translate sign language into text or audible speech. Wulala Technology Co. has launched a glove paired via Bluetooth® to a subscription-based app on a smartphone. It incorporates two-way bending sensors in each finger, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) in the palm. The sensors track the pose of the fingers, while the IMU tracks the movement and position of the glove in three-dimensional space. When deaf users sign a message, it’s relayed through the app in both onscreen text and synthetic speech. A hearing person receiving the message speaks a response, which will be displayed both as text and in sign language performed by an animated avatar. The glove is washable, as its main electronics module is removable. One 90-minute charge of its battery lasts for eight hours of use. Future plans call for the system to be capable of interpreting for people who speak or sign in different languages. Photo: Wulala Technology Co.