language over cell phones now possible in US
Aug 23 (IANS) A Washington University team has developed a
software that enables deaf or hard-of-hearing Americans to
use sign language over a mobile phone video link.
real-time video communication between cell phones, demonstrated
for the first time in the country, has evoked tremendous response
from the aurally challenged since its posting on YouTube.
lot of people are excited about this," said principal
investigator Eve Riskin, a professor of electrical engineering
at the Washington University (WU).
mobile communication, deaf people now communicate by using
text messages over the cellphone. "But the point is you
want to be able to communicate in your native language,"
Riskin said. "For deaf people that's American Sign Language."
is much better than text-messaging because it's faster and
it's better at conveying emotion," said Jessica DeWitt,
a WU undergraduate who is deaf and is a collaborator on the
project. She said a large part of her communication is with
facial expressions, transmitted over the video phones.
data transmission rates on US cellular networks, combined
with limited processing power on mobile devices, have so far
prevented real-time video transmission with enough frames
per second that it could be used to transmit sign language.
team discovered that the most important part of the image
to transmit in high resolution is around the face. This is
not surprising, since eye-tracking studies have already shown
that people spend the most time looking at a person's face
while they are using sign language.
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