According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are about 70 million people around the globe who use sign language as their mother tongue. (Via Flickr / daveynin)
Would you be able to communicate with them? Well, if the answer is no — Google has a new app that could help.
"Using electromyography it analyzes the position and muscle activity in both your hand and forearm. This means that Google Gesture can identify exactly which sign you are making." (ViaGoogle)
It comes with a pair of wrist bands that help track the motions and send them to the Gesture app. Those motions are then translated into speech in real time.
Students at the Berghs School of Communication in Sweden helped come up with the idea for the app "as a way to enable signed conversation with those who don't use sign language." (ViaGizmodo)
The app even won a prestigious Future Lions award at the Cannes Lions Festival Wednesday.
According to Ad Age there were almost 2,000 participants in the festival.
Google does have Google Translate which enables people to communicate in different languages and turns speech into text.
But Gesture is a first for Google with real-time sign language translation. A release date for the app has not yet been announced.