Deaf to sign via video handsets
ISLAMABAD:Deaf people could soon be using video mobiles to chat with their friends using sign language.
Video compression tools made by researchers make it possible to send live pictures of people signing across low bandwidth mobile networks, a private TV channel reported.
The system cuts down on the bandwidth needed by only sendÂing data about which parts of each frame have changed.
Many deaf people prefer to communicate via sign language but this is impossible over current mobile networks.
Chatting via signing across mobile networks was impossible because the bandwidth available means video was too low quality to accurately depict the arm, finÂger and face movements of sign language.
While video compression techniques could ease this problem there were other barriers too.
To do all this calculation and video compression runs down your battery pretty fast, researchers said.
The teams are working on ways to get the software on to handsets.
To cut down on the amount of data that has to be sent video compression systems typically only send information about what elements of a scene change from frame to frame.
By contrast the system develÂoped could only display looks for hand, arm and face movements. In addition, it ensures that the face of a signer, where movements during signing are quite subtle, is presented in more detail.
The large, slower movements of hands and arms can be picked up at low fidelity, while the face needs higher fidelity because the movement are much smaller.
This approach also made sense because people interpreting sign language look at the face of the signer 95 percent of the time.
This lets the peripheral vision pick up the gross movements of arms and hands while the fovea, the part of the retina capable of picking out detail, concentrates on the smaller facial actions.
The system developed by the team can work across networks that only have 10-20 kilobits per second of bandwidth available.
The research has gone so well that the team is in talks with handset makers and operators to put it on phones.
It has been realised that the technology is close enough that we can deploy it. APP
Source: Business Recorder