Kenyan techie invents sign language to audio converter

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Language is one of the major features that differentiate humans from other animals. This feature has been developed by humans over millennia. While most animal species have only one language system, humans have developed millions of language systems over time spoken all over the world. One of the first things that a kid learns apart from eating and drinking is speech. The kid learns to communicate with the world to convey emotions.

However, not everyone is lucky enough to have the necessary means to communicate. Deafness and Dumbness are two conditions when a person is incapable of listening and speaking respectively. Without any one of these qualities, the communication process becomes extremely difficult. People with such conditions, resort to sign language for communication.

Sign language is the best way for differently abled people, however, people who do not understand sign language stand blank as they do not understand a single word. While they are communicating with a similar person, then the sign language is at the rescue but other people find it almost impossible to understand. This is the major issue while communication with the outside world.

Kenya has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Most of this growth is credited to either the petroleum sector or the booming technology sector. It is the largest oil exporter in all of Africa. Moreover, they have emerged as one of the most developed countries technologically.

According to, an inventor from Nigeria called Roy Allel has invented a pair of gloves that can convert the sign language into audio. These smart gloves will allow the person using sign language to communicate with the rest of the world easily. These innovations really make a difference in people’s lives positively and hence should get its due recognition.

Talking of recognition, published a report that the invention won recognition and admiration by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which is the world’s largest organization for mechanical engineers. He received the award during its prestigious 2017 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) competition.

The impact that these smart gloves would have on the deaf and dumb community would be huge. It would give them a medium to communicate without any difficulty and it is a boon for them. Moreover, the process is extremely easy. Owning a smartphone is very common in the modern day and age. The smart glove works with an android application, which can understand the sign languages signed to it by the user. It can then convert the language into speech for a normal person to understand.

Having said that, there are numerous other applications and web services currently available in the market that can allow deaf and dumb people to write and convert them into speech but sign language conversion is a first. This is also the standard communication technique that most of the deaf and dumb people use worldwide, so the invention is magnificent.

-Soumya De

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