It is a technology that is usually associated with controlling games and media, but Microsoft Research has demonstrated how Kinect can be used to interpret sign language.
One of the team's latest projects is a sign language translator and it looks like it has great potential. Just as with spoken word languages, there are various sign languages in use around the world, and the software can be used to interpret and translate any of them.
The Kinect unit picks up hand gestures, body posture and other triggers, and is then able to convert this into spoken word -- it's very much like text-to-speech, but here it is gesture-to-speech.
In fact, the system can be used for other forms of translation as well. Type in a sentence and an avatar repeat it using sign language. It is also possible to speak out loud and have this converted into sign language used by the avatar.
It is impressive stuff that has great potential, and you can check out a video of the system in action.