University of Washington researchers are testing a MobileASL application that allows sign-language transmission on smartphones. The application uses a new video-compression technology that lets high-quality images be transmitted on current cellular bandwidths.
The specialized MobileASL application detects when a person is not signing and adjusts the data output to prolong battery life. It lets those who use American Sign Language to communicate continue to do so without having to resort to texting.
Implications - This is the kind of real-time video communication that will change the lives of millions of deaf people. Videos are sent over 3G and Wi-Fi networks at an incredibly low bit rate. The MobileASL App is a perfect example of the power of technology.