EFEMexico City

Researchers at Mexico's National Polytechnic Institute, or IPN, has developed a glove to translate text and sign languages to facilitate conversation between deaf and mute people and those not conversant with sign language, the institute said in a statement.

The prototype, created by Dr. Miguel Felix Mata and Helena Luna Garcia, senses hand movements of the user and identifies them with the 26 letters of the international alphabet.

"Words and phrases are transmitted by Bluetooth to a mobile device with a preloaded application that displays and reads the signs," Luna said.

Once the message reaches the device, it plays voice, so the application user can understand what his differently-abled companion or acquaintance is trying to say.

At the moment the glove can only read letters of the international alphabet but soon it will be able to read the Mexican sign language too.

A new material in wearable technology, a conductive thread made from steel, thicker than conventional cotton thread and that can be sewn with needle or a machine, has been used to detect if the fingers are open or closed.

The base of the glove hand is sewn with polyester and nylon and include springs and sensors for strength and to maintain the structure of the hand.

The application, available on android platform as Glove Translator, is free but needs the glove to work; the prototype for which is awaiting patent and manufacturing, said IPN.