Will the hearing soon be able to understand the deaf — without knowing sign language?

If the EnableTalk project is marketed, then they very well could. Three Ukranian students were announced the winners of Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2012 held this week in Sydney for their design of a pair of sensory gloves that can translate sign language hand gestures into speech.

According to the video above, the gloves capture the hand movements through 15 flex sensors and transfer the motion to a micro-controller which then normalizes the data and transmits it toa mobile device via Bluetooth.

When a pattern is recognized, the text equivalent of the sign is generated. Microsoft software then plays the sound of the text.

The Ukranian team beat out more than 350 students from 75 countries. Second place went to a team from Japan that created green LED lamps that measure the light in the room and then dim automatically while a team from Portugal took third with a robotic kart powered by Kinect that would help people with mobility special needs.