IPN students develop sign language app

Students from the Polytechnic Institute have developed a smartphone app to learn sign language in Mexico

IPN students develop app to translate sign language
The app was developed by Tania Giselle Alcántara Medina and Omar García Vázquez, both undergraduate engineering students from IPN - Photo: Irvin Olivares/EL UNIVERSAL
English 04/09/2018 14:43 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 14:50
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Students from the Higher Mechanical and Electrical Engineering School (ESIME) at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) have developed a smartphone app to detect and analyze hand movements in order to facilitate the learning of sign language in Mexico.

The app is still at the prototype phase, and will allow people to communicate with those using sing language, since it has been equipped with the Mexican sign language alphabet, allowing for the user to form simple sentences.

The app was developed by Tania Giselle Alcántara Medina and Omar García Vázquez, both undergraduate engineering students who, with the help of doctor Jorge Fernando Veloz Ortiz, a professor at ESIME, have developed a first version of the sign language learning system as part of their degree project.

In an interview with the information agency of Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), Alcántara Medina explained that the system they developed was divided in two phases: One for learning and one for practive.

“The learning phase is divided into four categories which are: colors, numbers, family, and food, which are thought to be fundamental for any person to interact with others with a speech impediment.” Stated the student.

In the meantime, García Vázquez explained that the practice phase is based on a thresholding algorithm to identify objects (in this case, hands), allowing the system to read the user’s hand movements and ensure that the lesson is well executed.

“What we want is for any person with a mid-range to high-end smartphone to be able to use our system, even without internet access (once the app has been successfully downloaded),” García Vázquez added.
 

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