Kinect Sees Experimental Use as ASL Tool

People are using the Kinect Xbox 360 add-on in ways that transcend the idea of a video console accessory. It was this type of development that was hoped for when a bounty was put out for open source Kinect drivers, and look what the latest possibility is: using Kinect to help people learn American Sign Language.

>Researchers at Georgia Tech College of Computing are working such a project. They've taken the Kinect and coupled it with custom software, CopyCat. The prior, pre-Kinect version required the users to wear colored gloves with 3-axis accelerometers.

The new system performed very accurately. In a series of increasingly more difficult tests, the software returned results with 100 percent accuracy, 99.98 percent accuracy, and 98.8 percent accuracy.

the team will be working on updates including a larger vocabulary which necessitates the need of "hand shape features." The initial proof-of-concept demo launched with a small vocabulary that excluded them in favor of broader gestural movements with the arms and body.
It's clear that the four-fold increase in Kinect accuracy that Microsoft is rumored to be working on could be very useful in this effort.

Watch a video on the project below.