Texas Engineers Give Voice to Hearing and Speech Impaired with Research

In order to open the lines of communication between the deaf and those who don’t understand sign language, engineers at Texas A&M University are developing a device which converts sign language. The technology was among the top award winners in the Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge this past summer.

The technology, created in association with Texas Instruments, signifies an increasing interest in the development of high-tech sign language recognition systems (SLRs). However, unlike other recent initiatives, this system relinquishes the use of a camera to capture gestures. Instead, the device uses Bluetooth to send data from two types of sensors to a notebook computer, where the movements are deciphered.  Motion sensors, like those found in your smartphone, are combined with electromyographic sensors that measure electrical activity in the muscles. This allows the device to get a holistic view of the movements from both the hand and the arm, combined with a comprehensive view of what the fingers and wrist are also doing. This combination data allows the system to interpret the small differences between similar gestures.

eagle-323385_640Without a doubt, engineers at the Texas A&M are contributing to an innovative economy with research such as this. However, you don’t have to don a white coat or be creating wearable electronics to be partaking in research and development for tax purposes. Innovation can be found in all types of research and development and each business has their own unique agenda. The business world is extremely competitive and by investing in innovation, companies can find a point of difference. However, one of the main problems with the R&D tax credit is the confusion that surrounds the qualification process. Anyone who satisfies the IRS’ 4-part test and substantiates and documents their qualifying research expenses (QRE’s) can qualify for the R&D tax credit (read more here). Innovation is without doubt one of the keystones to success in any business and if your business is working on a project that you think could be eligible, then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you find out.