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'Talking' glove helps stroke victims

Nov. 19, 2012 at 6:17 PM

SHEFFIELD, England, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A 73-year-old U.K. stroke victim unable to talk for two years is "speaking" again with a "talking" glove that translates gestures into words, researchers say.

Bill Broad of Sheffield, who suffered a stroke in 2010 that left him unable to communicate with his family, wears a leather glove equipped with sensors on his left hand that can monitor his hand movements and convert them into a synthesized voice, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The device, developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, allows Broad to "speak" words or phrases that have been preprogrammed to correspond to each gesture of his gloved hand.

"He got the glove a few months ago and it has been brilliant," daughter Keeley Bellam said. "He knows about 20 phrases now, so there are quite a few combinations for him to learn but he can tell us when he wants a drink and say thank you.

"As he learns more words, we hope it will allow us to have proper, full conversations again."

The glove, which costs around $1,100 and has a battery that lasts about a week, can be programmed to articulate more than 1,000 words, its developers said.

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