New Cell Phone Technology Allows Deaf People to Communicate Anytime, AnywhereBy Ju, Anne; Cornell Chronicle Online,
Publication Date: December 2, 2009
Article features cell phones that allow deaf people to communicate in sign language. The cell phones are the result of a project named Mobile ASL, a collaboration of computer engineering researchers at Cornell University and the University of Washington and funded by the National Science Foundation. The phones comprise special video compression software that varies its speed of delivery depending on whether the user is signing or watching the other person sign, thus extending the phone’s battery life. Researchers observed individuals conversing in American Sign Language (ASL) and determined that deaf people often use only one hand to sign and spend most of the time during conversation focused on the speaker’s face, as facial expressions are an important feature of ASL. The resulting cell phone video is clearest in the speaker’s face and hands, with detail spared in the torso and background. The project used deaf people as raters of video intelligibility to produce the first prototype of the phones, which, at the time the article was published, were in the hands of 25 deaf people in the Seattle area.
Published by: Cornell University Division of University Communications (Website:http://univcomm.cornell.edu/)
Link to text: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Dec09/MobileASL.html