Canadian Teen Wins National Science Fair Award

Ahmad Ali is a Canadian teen, who just won a national science fair award for his prototype the SignSMART glove. Ali’s SignSMART glove is a re-engineered version of a glove that translates American Sign Language (ASL) gestures into text and speech. There are “flex sensors” along the fingers and knuckles of the glove to create electric currents. These currents are then wirelessly transmitted to a smartphone. Then, the smartphone announces the letters through a speech-to-text function.

The idea came to Ali after taking a computer science course and learning about a “sign language glove” designed by two university students. After studying their glove design, he felt there were many flaws that could be fixed. After several re-engineering trials, he created his version of the SignSMART glove and submitted it for the Canada-Wide Science Fair. He won a bronze medal plus a scholarship against 462 peers. Ali says, “The problem with languages like ASL is it is not understood by most hearing people, hence there’s a communication gap between the hearing and non-hearing communities.” He hopes his prototype will help bridge that gap.

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