Kinect recognizes American Sign Language

Saturday, 7th August 2010 19:10 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


According to a patent listing for Kinect, not only does the motion controller recognize the body, face, and voice, but American Sign Language as well.

Those who communicate through the use of ASL will be able to input letters, phrases, and words.

“Where the user is unable to speak, he may be prevented from joining in the voice chat,” reads the patent. “Even though he would be able to type input, this may be a laborious and slow process to someone fluent in ASL. Under the present system, he could make ASL gestures to convey his thoughts, which would then be transmitted to the other users for auditory display.

“In this situation, for example, when the user kills another user’s character, that victorious, though speechless, user would be able to tell the other user that he had been ‘PWNED’. In another embodiment, a user may be able to speak or make the facial motions corresponding to speaking words. The system may then parse those facial motions to determine the user’s intended words and process them according to the context under which they were inputted to the system.”

The patent also states Kinect tracks fingers and toes.

“Where more points are tracked, additional features may be identified, such as the bones and joints of the fingers or toes, or individual features of the face, such as the nose and eyes,” according to the patent.

We’re wondering if it can recognize the one fingered welcome as well, then. Okay. Bad joke there. Sorry. We’ll send a mail regarding the patent.

Kinect’s out on November 4 in the US for $150 and £129.99 in the UK. A European and UK release is expected to be revealed soon.

Via Gamespot.



  1. LordCancer

    so now the deaf and the dumb can play.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Gekidami

    They already could.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    I know plenty of “dumb” people who play games :D

    #3 4 years ago
  4. LOLshock94

    i playyyyyyyyyyyy

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Quiiick

    “American Sign Language”?

    Isn’t the sign language international?
    If not, I’m quite surprised.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Stephany Nunneley

    @5 “ASL is the dominant sign language of deaf Americans (which include the deaf communities in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in some regions of Mexico). Although the United Kingdom and the United States share English as a spoken and written language, British Sign Language (BSL) is quite different from ASL, and the two sign languages are not mutually intelligible.”

    Per Wiki.

    Surely, it will detect BSL too over in the UK. I can send a mail and ask since you brought it up and we’ve found it’s different.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Quiiick

    Strange, but thanks a lot for the info, Stephany.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    @8 Oh np at all! I learned something today, actually. :)

    #8 4 years ago
  9. xino

    @5 exactly Quick, what is American sign language!?

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Stephany Nunneley

    @9 see @6

    #10 4 years ago
  11. The1stMJC

    I thought they were doing gang signs

    #11 4 years ago
  12. James Mac

    I think this patent application may have been written before they scaled back the points of reference.

    I didn’t think it could track fingers… which it would need for identifying sign language.

    Still, if kinect can… that’s awesome.

    #12 4 years ago

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