Over 30-million people around the world rely on sign language to communicate, but there’s a language barrier when they try to talk to someone who doesn’t use or understand sign language. Roy Allela knows first-hand how difficult it can be because his six-year-old niece was born deaf and it was a challenge for her to communicate with her family, who didn’t know sign language.
But his desire to communicate and connect with his niece drove Allela to get creative. The 25-year-old from Kenya had a breakthrough and invented smart gloves that convert sign language movements into audio speech. The speech translation glove recognizes letters signed by users and sends that data to an app that vocalizes it.
Allela was recognized for his game-changing invention by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers during their Innovation Showcase competition. He’s living proof that necessity is the mother of invention.