Photo credits: Business Insider
A young man from the African nation of Kenya is the inventor of a revolutionary technological device, which assists people with hearing and speech impairments.
Roy Allela (pictured right) is a mechanical engineer who has been honored by the most prominent American entity, which recognizes accomplishments made by those in his dynamic field.
In 2017, Allela, 25, won an award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers during its grand Innovative Showcase contest.
He shared a $500,000 cash prize and other rewards along with three other contestants.
Allela is the inventor of Sign-IO, a special pair of Bluetooth and Android-dependent smart gloves that translate the device’s sign language movements into audio speech.
According to Business Insider, around 30 million people globally depend on sign language to communicate.
The greatest entrepreneurs and most successful inventors are ultimately driven by humanity’s essential needs. For Allela, inspiration to fulfill a need was born of a family void involving a younger relative.
Allela has a six-year-old niece who was medically declared deaf at birth. However, no one in his family knew how to use sign language. This made it very difficult for the young girl to communicate with her loved ones.
With her brilliant uncle’s blessing, she is now able to relay her family’s messages and deliver her own.
“My niece wears the gloves, pairs them to her phone or mine, then starts signing and I’m able to understand what she’s saying,” Allela said, according to Nairobi News.
“People speak at different speeds and it’s the same with people who sign – some are really fast, others are slow, so we integrated that into the mobile application so that it’s comfortable for anyone to use it,” he also said.
Unfortunately, members of a misguided fraction within humanity marginalize and label people who are vocally challenged and hearing impaired. However, Allela is a champion for the deaf and the voiceless.
“It fights the stigma associated with being deaf and having a speech impediment. If the gloves look cool, every kid will want to know why you have them on,” he added, according to Nairobi News.