The University of Washington in the US has developed software to enable people to engage in a sign language conversation over a mobile phone. The development group has now received funding for further testing.
The software, called MobileASL, uses a standard video compression tool to stay within the data transmission limit, according to the Science Daily website. Apparently there are versions under development which will use custom tools to achieve better quality. A built-in method of transmitting the hand shapes in high resolution and the background in low resolution will also speed up the video image. Future versions will also include a hand movement sensor to bring the software up to full resolution only when signing is taking place.
An undisclosed major mobile network has already shown interest in the project.
Click to read the Science Daily story
Click to read more details on MobileASL
Click to watch a video demonstration on YouTube