Roy Allele: The Kenyan Inventor Who Invented Smart Gloves That Auto-Translate Sign Language Into Speech

Roy Allela is a 28-year-old Kenyan inventor and software engineer who invented smart gloves that convert sign language into audio speech. His invention could help the 466 million people around the globe suffering from disabling hearing loss.

Roy Allela’s 6 years old niece was born deaf and had difficulties communicating with people. Having seen his niece struggling to communicate, Roy was inspired to create a new invention that would ease communication. That’s how the idea of smart gloves came to existence and he created his first smart gloves called Sign-IO

According to Roy, he thought about what communication will look like for his niece as she grows older. Roy knew that the experience may not be an easy one for her, so he was inspired to invent the smart gloves.

My niece wears the gloves, pairs them to her phone or mine, then starts signing and I’m able to understand what she’s saying

Roy Allela

The gloves have flex sensors on each finger and these sensors recognize the bends and movements of the fingers and translate whatever the sign made into speech through a mobile phone app that is paired with the gloves via Bluetooth.

Because not everybody understands sign language, it could be hard for deaf people to have easy conversation with others. But with the help of the Sign-IO gloves, this will not be the same anymore!

Because the Sign-IO gloves have a success rate of over 93% accuracy in translating sign language into speech. For this project, Roy has won the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Award and he is now using the prize money for the improvement of his gloves.

This kind gesture of Roy can make us admit that this guy is a real-life superhero because Roy has given the deafs a chance to have hassle-free conversations with other people and I think the job of a hero is to help others in need and Roy Allela has done just that.