Developing automated American Sign Language (ASL) recognition is important since it is the primary mode of communication for many deaf people. It also provides an appealing tested for understanding more general principles governing human motion and gestures. Such gestures are a critical part of a next generation of human-computer interfaces. Moreover, ASL is becoming a popular alternative teaching style for babies since they can express feelings by signs much earlier than speaking. The development of a system for translating sign language into spoken language would be of great use in a number of applications for the hearing-impaired.
ASL consists of approximately 6,000 words with unique signs (comparable to morphemes in written language). Additional words are spelled using fingerspelling Similar to written English, ASL has 26 alphabet gestures that can be used in fingerspelling. It is very common to use fingerspelling for names, places and specialized terms.