SCANNING THE SIGNS
A pair of high schoolers from Ho Chi Minh City claim to have come up with their own smartphone-linked "speaking glove" that can translate sign language hand signals into text and speech. Pham Tien Tan and Chu Hoang Minh Duc, from Le Hong Phong High School for gifted students, received the most prestigious award for high schoolers in the nation's south at the recent Vietnam Science and Technology Fair. They told state media that a series of awkward interactions with members of Vietnam's deaf-mute community had inspired them to take matters into their own hands. “When I tried to talk with deaf and mute people, I discovered that I was communication-impaired myself," 17-year-old Tan said. "I did not understand the sign language that they were using, while most of them could understand what others were saying by reading mouth movements." The glove, which is said to be capable of translating more than 30 different hand gestures into words ranging from 'love' to 'Vietnam', was apparently being designed concurrently with a similar initiative debuted last year by a pair of US college students at MIT. The young Vietnamese physics majors are now working on coming up with a way to string individual signs into full sentences.