The easiest way Deaf people can communicate these days is through their cell phones SMSing others. Technology is a boon if used in the right way. Now a group of scientists have developed a new software which allows anyone for two way video communication. Using this new software deaf people can interact with each other in their native or American sign language.
“A lot of people are excited about this. The point is you will be able to communicate in your native language. For deaf people that’s American Sign Language.” said Eve Riskin the Principal investigator, a University of Washington professor of electrical engineering.
According to Jessica DeWitt who is an undergraduate in psychology, (who also happens to be deaf) communication through video is much better and quicker as you don’t need to wait for the other persons response which normally is the case when you are SMS-ing and also emotions are delivered directly to the intended person than just plain text-messages. A large part of a deaf persons communication is delivered by facial expressions and video plays an important role in this.
US cellular networks still suffer from a very Low data transmission rates coupled with extremely limited processing power on mobile devices makes real-time implementation of this software a little difficult in the US. However, sign language over cellphones is already available in places such as Asia and Europe, which is possible because of the faster networks and better processing power on cell phones.
Faster networks are now coming up quick in US and soon US folks too will be able to avail this feature.
“The faster networks are not available. They also cost more. We don’t think it’s fair for someone who’s deaf to have to pay more for his or her cell phone than someone who’s hearing,” said doctoral student Anna Cavender.