Sunday 15 May 2016

talk to the hand

It might be a follow-up to my piece last week about sign-language but this is so super-cool it needs a bit of a trib in its own right.  Did you know that there are 70 million people who are deaf or deaf-mute and so rely on some form of sign language to communicate?  That's 1% of the world's population!  It works okay if you are in your family or at school or training in your new boyfriend but it really doesn't work if you're new in town and trying to buy a 16oz hammer and a packet of 10d nails in the hardware store.  A couple of geeks from MIT have got you (and 70 million others) covered.  They've invented a glove with a lot of location sensors that can pick up the movements of your fingers, fore-arm and wrist in real time. Show and tell. The movement is then interpreted into sound or written text and it comes out like the GPS robot in your car's navigation system.

If you think the idea or the implementation or the utility of this invention is sort of cool or neat, then you'll want to read the commentary at Metafilter where I first heard about it. Such a device is patriarchal, demeaning to deaf people, implicitly denigrating any form of communication but larynx-speech and should be banned.  The kids who dreamed it up should be sent to Sensitivity School to appreciate that no True Deaf person would have any use for such a contemptible . . . toy.  I dunno, some people must like to sound cross all day - I meet them all to frequently at The Institute. Talk to the hand!

Talking of cars - here's a couple singing&signing along while driving with both hands off the wheel. Don't do this away from home, folks!  If you must sign in a car then make sure you are stationary in the driveway at home.

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