A 19th-century hand-touch alphabet will soon make its way onto the tech forefront. According to sources, Germany’s Design Research Lab is developing a glove capable of text messaging for the deaf and blind.
With a prototype already present, the glove is expected to be openly-received by the community. It could certainly provide a critical step in the already-present communication-based challenges for the deaf and blind.
The Mobile Lorm Glove
Mikulove Heinrich Landesman, operating under the pseudonym of Hieronymus Lorm to escape persecution, developed a language for the deaf and blind to communicate. Six years after his death, in 1908, the touch alphabet was released by his daughter.
Based on Lorm, a lab in the University of Arts Berlin started developing a prototype of a glove that transmits language into text. In a few simple steps, communication is possible:
- Wearing the Mobile Lorm Glove and a Bluetooth device halfway up the forearm, a speaker can begin the process.
- Using different patterns, a range of punctuation marks are also transmittable, in addition to letters.
- The Bluetooth device then transmits the text to the speaker’s cell phone.
- The phone sends a text message (SMS) to the listener’s cell phone.
- When the message reaches the listener, it may be transmitted via a Lorm Glove worn by the listener.
- Vibrating nodes on the back of the unit inform the listener of the message.
Of course, listeners may simply read the text message if they have sight, due to the compatibility with cell phones. However, communication isn’t limited to just a sender and a listener: multiple listeners with the Mobile Lorm Glove and cell phones may receive the message.
Implications of the Mobile Lorm Glove
The glove is certainly a revolutionary step in the Lorm language. Due to the lack of being able to communicate at a distance, the Mobile Lorm Glove bridges the cap on a previously unseen weakness.
However, there is a planned feature announced by the team: the incorporation of direct speech input and output. This feature, planned for the next phase of development, will allow for an increase in efficiency.
With the introduction of direct speech input, educational settings could certainly benefit. For instance, researchers have noted the feasibility of using the device in classes, as the Mobile Lorm Glove can involve many recipients.
What will the effect of the Mobile Lorm Glove have on its community? While it is risky to give high praise to such a new device, it is difficult to not move in this direction.
- The unit solves an old shortcoming of the Lorm language – communication at a distance.
- Students, both young and old, can experience education in a whole new manner.
- The researchers state that it will be possible to “feel e-books or audio books.”
The results could be staggering. Implications on communications and independence on the deaf and blind community are strengthened with this new, developing technology.
Overall, this piece of technology, which is still in the prototype stage, represents a unique step in technology for the deaf and blind community. While text-to-speech technology has been around for some time, the Mobile Lorm Glove meets a unique set of challenges for communication in the community.
The Mobile Lorm Glove appears to be a revolutionary piece of technology that can bridge the gap between the deaf and blind community, and the world. Its development could aid this community and others as a unique technological feat.
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