Gesture recognition of sign language alphabet with a convolutional neural network using a magnetic positioning system

Emanuele Buchicchio, Francesco Santoni, Alessio De Angelis, Antonio Moschitta, Paolo Carbone


Gesture recognition is a fundamental step to enable efficient communication for the deaf through the automated translation of sign language. This work proposes the usage of a high-precision magnetic positioning system for 3D positioning and orientation tracking of the fingers and hands palm. The gesture is reconstructed by the MagIK (magnetic and inverse kinematics) method and then processed by a deep learning gesture classification model trained to recognize the gestures associated with the sign language alphabet. Results confirm the limits of vision-based systems and show that the proposed method based on hand skeleton reconstruction has good generalization properties. The proposed system, which combines sensor-based gesture acquisition and deep learning techniques for gesture recognition, provides a 100% classification accuracy, signer independent, after a few hours of training using transfer learning technique on well-known ResNet CNN architecture. The proposed classification model training method can be applied to other sensor-based gesture tracking systems and other applications, regardless of the specific data acquisition technology.

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