Translating gloves take top prize in Microsoft contest

A team of students from Ukraine has claimed the top prize in the software design category of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup student competition with gloves that use sensors and a mobile app to translate sign language into speech.

The team’s project, EnableTalk, uses a pair of gloves with 15 sensors and a microcontroller that recognize the patterns being made by the hands, then transmits data via Bluetooth to a Windows Phone equipped with Microsoft speech technologies that convert the language into audio. The victory comes with a $25,000 prize.

Microsoft’s annual Imagine Cup competition includes regional events around the world, including the U.S., with the winners moving on to the finals. The finals were held in Australia this year, and will be hosted in Russia next year.

Watch a video of the EnableTalk technology below, and see a full roundup of winners here.