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Author Topic: Video relay calling breakthrough uses FaceTime to help the deaf  (Read 568 times)
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« on: July 14, 2010, 11:00:14 pm »

Video relay calling breakthrough uses FaceTime to help the deaf

Filed under: iPhone

On Wednesday, July 7th, ZVRS held a party for 200 people at the Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia to announce and demonstrate its iZ video relay software (a collaboration between Apple, AT&T, and ZVRS) for the iPhone 4. This is a major achievement that will benefit the deaf community.

ZVRS is a company that provides video relay services (VRS); the service allows the hearing impaired to communicate via videophones while using an interpreter as an intermediary.

Using FaceTime video conferencing, the iZ software will act as an intermediary, allowing spoken words to be transformed into sign language (and vice versa) in real time. The service will be rolled out on July 26th, which is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In the past, the only way for the hearing impaired to communicate was either in person or by way of the TTY (teletypewriter); the TTY is a device that's about as large as a laptop computer, and it allows the hard of hearing to type on a QWERTY keyboard and have the communication transferred. However, iZ breaks that barrier; it will allow the deaf to pull an iPhone 4 out of their pocket and effectively communicate. Now, another technical impediment will be on its way out. This is wonderful news.

At first, the technology will only be available through Wi-Fi and the iPhone 4, but it's a safe bet to say that it will eventually filter down to other devices and be able to use cellular service. For now, though, it's quite a start.

[via AppleInsider]TUAWVideo relay calling breakthrough uses FaceTime to help the deaf originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, 14 Jul 2010 09:00:00 EST.  Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
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