Group 2: Exoskeletal Translator


Based on popular feedback, and the desire to approach universal language from a unique perspective, we have decided to prototype a thought-to-gesture, gesture-to-text-and/or-audio exoskeletal translator.

This will be relevant in a world where clean air is diminishing. With this device, users can resist organic vocal speech by communicating solely through their thoughts and upper extremity gestures.

Users will wear a headset that detects and translates the gestures of others into verbal speech (emitted from a speaker in their ear) and/or written text (displayed on the glass of the headset eyewear). Users will also be wearing an exoskeletal device, and upon thought detection, sensors will stimulate the corresponding portions of their upper extremities (arms, hands, and fingers) to suggest the gestures needed for translation. Additionally, there will be a more forceful mode that will not just suggest, but alter your movements.

The prototype idea currently consists of sensors down the arms, hands, and fingers, as well as a headset consisting of sensors and eyewear and/or a speaker for the ear.

World: After WW3, a universal language (and consequently currency and religion) was enforced by the winning side.

1. The goal. Identify the core nugget that explains what your pitch is trying to achieve.

Helping non-language speakers interact with others without actually learning the language (both orally and visually).

2. The idea. This is a version of your 5-second pitch.

To create 1) a wearable device that translates and emits any spoken word (either from a speaker or into the earpiece), all in real-time, and 2) a portable device that translates written words into the desired language.

  • If the user speaks their prefered language the wearable device will translate and emit the spoken words in the universal language (output from a speaker).
  • The wearable device will detect spoken words, and translate them into the user’s preferred language (output into an earpiece).
  • The portable device will scan a portion of written text and translate it into the desired language (on a screen).

3. The problem. This is a modified version of a pitch set-up: as it provides a framework for the idea. Perhaps you can have a tight bulleted list of data points that identify the problem or short, realistic scenarios that expresses why these problems are important.

  • High difficulty in learning to speak a new language
  • Loss of cultural preservation
  • All documents (governmental, educational, etc.) will need to be completed in the universal language
  • All communication is restricted to the universal language causing difficulties in day-to-day interactions

4. The audience. Who will this idea appeal to? What is the profile of the potential customer/user/agent? What is the profile of the non-customer? (Who would never ever be interested/horrified/angered by this idea?)

This will appeal to people who

  • originally do not know the universal language and are not open to adapting their preferred language
  • want to learn the language on a very minimal level (for official purposes), but want to speak and communicate in their preferred language, or
  • are in the process of learning the universal language, but need their preferred language to communicate in the meantime or do not feel comfortable completely switching over yet.

This would not appeal to people who

  • originally speak the universal language
  • do not mind having to adapt their preferred language
  • are born into the system, or
  • fear potential punishment.

5. The approach. How does the idea work? Explain, at a high level, the outline for how the idea will be implemented – background research and methods.

We will create a fashionable, wearable headpiece or earpiece and a portable scanning device.

  • The wearable device will consist of a speaker, a microphone, and a language translator.
  • The portable scanning device will consist of a screen, a camera, and a language translator.

Background research for these technologies:

We would incorporate the voice-to-voice translation technology (the language translator) into the wearable device so it could detect speech through the microphone, and output the translated speech through the speaker.

Additionally, the camera technology would be incorporated into the portable scanning device so that the camera would detect text which would be translated by the language translator and displayed by the screen.
6. Challenges & Unknowns. What are the big open issues that need to be resolved, or are questions a reasonable person would ask? If you were being pitched to, what questions would you have? Identify them and demonstrate you’ve thought about those issues – ideally with a credible (if fuzzy) plan, or plan for a plan, for resolving.

  • How do you read text that cannot be immediately or easily scanned (with the device)? E.g. signs or billboards while driving.Plan: create a visual portion of the device (maybe glasses? a smart windshield?) that would be able to read text without using the handheld scanner.
  • Accessibility for the deaf. In addition to a universal spoken language, a universal sign language was adapted. Our system does not handle sign language or its translation.Should this be incorporated into our system? How?
  • Accessibility for the blind. Blind users wouldn’t be able to read the portable system without braille.Plan: optional braille only device or attachment for the portable scanning device.


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One thought on “Group 2: Exoskeletal Translator

  1. Aisling Kelliher says:

    Your group may be interested in recent discoveries about “The Not Face”:


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