Mobile Lorm Glove

Communication and translation device for deafblind persons

The Mobile Lorm Glove is a mobile communication and translation device for deafblind persons. The glove translates the hand-touch alphabet “Lorm”, a common form of communication used by people with both hearing and sight impairment, into text and vice versa.

Textile pressure sensors located on the palm of the glove enable the deafblind user to “lorm” onto his or her own hand to compose text messages. A Bluetooth connection transmits the data from the glove to the user’s handheld device. It is then automatically forwarded to the receiver’s handheld device in the form of an SMS. If the wearer of the Mobile Lorm Glove receives a text message, the message will be forwarded via Bluetooth from his/her handheld device to the glove. Initiated by small vibration motors located on the back of the glove, tactile feedback patterns allow the wearer to perceive incoming messages.

The Mobile Lorm Glove provides particularly two innovative ways of communication for deafblind people. It supports mobile communication over distance, e.g.  text message, chat or e-mail, and it enables parallel one-to-many communication, which is especially helpful in school and other learning contexts. With this newly developed technology and interaction, it will soon become possible to also „feel” E-Books or Audiobooks. The Mobile Lorm Glove functions as a simultaneous translator and makes communicating with others without knowledge of “Lorm” possible. As a result, it empowers deafblind people to engage with a wider social world and further enhances their independence.

The next step of our research will be to prepare the implementation of direct speech input and output.


The Mobile Lorm Glove is part of the project “DESIGNABILITIES – Disability-inspired Interaction”, which in a larger research scheme focuses on perspectives for Interaction Design in terms of an enhancement of Information-Communication-Technologies and Human-Computer-Interaction, by transferring properties from “disability” contexts (e.g. deaf/blind communication) into general contexts of communication (e.g. localisation in loud or crowded environments via gesture-based or tactile info transfer).

External Partners: Allgemeiner Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverein Berlin (ABSV) + Oberlinhaus Potsdam

Mobile Lorm Glove Input

Mobile Lorm Glove Output


Mobile Lorm Glove: introducing a communication device for deaf-blind people

Ulrike Gollner, Tom Bieling, Gesche Joost 2012. Mobile Lorm Glove: introducing a communication device for deaf-blind people. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (Kingston, Ontario, Canada, February 19 – 22, 2012). TEI 2012.