Good news for the hearing-impaired—Microsoft’s new controller-free technology appears like it will support the use of American Sign Language (ASL).
In a U.S. patent application, as noticed by SlashGear, Microsoft lays out the basic framework behind Kinect.
One section, illustrated in an image on SlashGear, shows a person making sign language gestures that Kinect can understand.
The user 502 is making a gesture with his left hand 508a to signal the character "a" in American Sign Language (ASL). This gesture may be interpreted as if the user were pressing the "a" key on a keyboard. In embodiments, the user is not limited to a single hand to make a gesture. The user may make the gesture with his right hand, both hands, or some combination of his body parts. Additionally, the user may use a prop, such as a conductor's wand in making the gesture.
In an embodiment, this sign language comprises American Sign Language (ASL). Where the language is ASL, the gesture may be a single letter or number, or a word or even a full expression or phrase, as is allowed by the language. ASL has the advantage of having a large number of people who are already facile in using it. To that end, a user who is facile in ASL will have an easy time inputting characters to a system that accepts ASL gestures as input.