Kinect Can Be Taught to Recognize Sign Language

Since motion capture and motion recognition software was first introduced to video games there was knowledge that video games is not where it would stop.

A French development team has actually come up with a way to get the Microsoft Kinect software to recognize and decode sign language. This is just the newest use of the software that is another improvement on the kind of software that was already being used in the Nintendo Wii and the Playstation Move. It’s not clear exactly why the Kinect seems to get used for other newer uses or if we simply hear more about them.

One fun little use for the motion capture software has been to team it with the old Flying Toasters screensavers in order to actually control where the toasters fly. Perhaps a little more functional, a Russian clothing store found a way to use the Kinect and altered reality technology to allow people to try clothes on without actually trying them on.

Still, the teaming up of this particular development team of the Kinect software with a neural network seems to have the farthest reaching applications to date. It is conceivable that using this type of software would allow hearing people to communicate with the hearing impaired without having to have a third person in the room to translate both sides of the conversation. The motion capture software and neural network teaming would allow an almost instantaneous translation of the signs being made and could even serve as another way to teach those who don’t know sign language to use it by correcting their movements.

The best news, according to the guys who came up with this is that thanks to the neural network approach to the software there isn’t a bunch of coding to be done whenever you want to program a new sign. Simply record the actions that you are making and the neural network will “memorize” them. This means that as long as you have someone who can come up with the original programming, a few quick lessons on how to record the motions will be all you need to make it work.