Sign Language over the cell phone

by Mark R

Yes, sign language on a cellular phone. I realize that this sounds like an incredibly sick joke, like a Driver’s Manual in Braille, but this is a study going on at the University of Washington (UW).

Now, you might think that the hearing impaired could communicate via text message and Instant Messages, but I’m sure that we all know how easily a simple message with its tone could be misinterpreted. In other words, they want something where they are free to use sign language to communicate.

While it is true that successful phones like the EVO 4G and the iPhone 4 can do video conferencing, this feature is dependent on the user holding the phone in one of their hands. That seriously limits sign language if you are doing it one handed.

There is also a problem of bandwith. Heavy bandwith conferencing could create some serious problems when the bill comes around. However, this UW team wants to use MobileASL with one tenth of the bandwith of the iPhone 4 FaceTime video conferencing.

This study uses 11 students who are “academically gifted deaf or hard-of hearing pupil interested in pursuing computer careers”. It uses 200 phone calls, each one lasting an average of 90 seconds.

I hope to see more about this study, as well as any improvements in mobile communication for the hearing impaired.

Source

3 reviews or comments

sim free samsung Says: August 19, 2010 at 2:13 am

This could be a fantastic idea. I’d be very pleased to see something lie this mass produced. I don’t know any heairing impaired people personally but I’m sure they’ll be very excited to hear of such wonderful news

Tracy Stooksbury Says: August 30, 2010 at 8:57 am

Are you saying that sign language over the phone is now available or that it is something you are working on. Please let me know. I am trying to find one of these. If I can’t buy one now, when will I be able to buy one?

MABEL REID-ORR Says: September 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I LOVE THE IDEA AND HOPE THAT IT GOES THROUGH. PLEASE DO NOT LIMIT IT TO ONE CARRIER OR ONE PARTICULAR PHONE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE BLACKBERRY HAS THE CAPABILITIY OF HAVING A VIDEO CONFERENCING ON IT, BUT HAS NOT BEEN ADDED. VERIZON IS THE LARGEST CARRIER ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

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