- 1. The 3G signing revolution Gunnar Hellstrm, Omnitor
- Technology company situated in Stockholm, Sweden
- 20 employees of which half is deaf or hard of hearing
- Developments, products, services, projects,
- Improving deaf communication
- Bring modern telecom development to benefit for all
- Co-operation with Trace and Gallaudet in Accessible
3. Sign language calls went mobile in Sweden in September
- Two things triggered a dramatic improvement in deaf
communication in Sweden in September 2004
- Launch of a wireless 3G videophone usable for signing
- A marketing offer of free phones and free video calls within
- The result: 70% of signing deaf Swedes use 3G video calls as
one of their favourite communication means.
4. Tytn 5. Pure luck
- The revolution was no planned accessibility action,it was pure
luck and a mainstream market trick.
- What was the threshold that made the success?
- Video frame rate over 12 frames per second
- Attractive cost through mainstream indroduction offer by
- Many times faster, less expensive and more natural than sms
- Summary: Positive cost/benefit situation caused rapid
6. Relay service with 3G access
- The Swedish Telecom Agency followed up with a project to try
video relay services through 3G video.
- It was successful, so now 3G video relay is included in the
Swedish video relay service
- Adds to the value of the mobile videophone.
- Free video relay and distant interpreting
7. Technical facts and quality
- The current 3G videophones make use of
- Circuit switched technology in UMTS wireless system
- Picture frequency varies largely between models. The best can
make 15 fps.
- 15 is possible to use but jerky, 20 is smooth and good
- Resolution: QCIF=176*144, usable.
8. Video phones
- For a long time, only one videophone gave usable performance.
- All others had too low frame rate.
- Now a few models give equal performance as the NEC 616.
- Still screen size, camera angle and camera low light
sensitivity are common problem areas.
- Hard to know for phone buyers what videophones are usable.
First step: Small evaluation and report by the Swedish Handicap
Institute. 6 handsets only but an important beginning.
- Follow up needed with brief declaration of usability for
signing of every newmobile videophone.
9. Next step - Turbo
- The current 3G videophones give very limited quality. Only
usable for short conversations on easy topics.
- Next step is use of Turbo 3G with IP connection. Gives 384
kbit/s upstream and more downstream.
- Good quality with laptop and SIP multimedia, compatible with
use in the Internet. 25-30 fps smooth, good resolution video.
10. FromTurbo3G The call from Turbo 3G is directly compatible
with SIP Total Conversation in the Internet, using Omnitor Allan eC
softphone. 11. Total Conversation wanted and possible
- Now and then during a signed call, there is a need for exact
spelling. Especially with current 3G videophones fingerspelling is
- Then a real-time text feature is very useful.
- Both Circuit switched and IP 3G standards have real-time text
defined. Time for implementation to satisfy accessibility
- 3G video calls are in widespread successful use today in
Sweden. Direct calls and relay. A need is filled.
- Quality is just on the rim to usability. Users must adapt
signing rate. Still popular.
- Better quality can be used today in mobile computer and Turbo
3G. Same standard as landline. Expected in handsets
- Standards exist for video, text, voice combination, full
deployment would be appreciated by users.
- Declaration of usability for products is essential to avoid
buying products with low sign language performance.
13. Gunnar Hellstrm, Omnitor [email_address] www.omnitor.se -
This work was supported with funding fromthe National Institute on
Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR),U.S. Department of
Education, under grant number H133E040013 as part of a co-operation
between the Telecommunication Access RehabilitationEngineering
Research Center of the University of Wisconsin Trace Centerjoint
with Gallaudet University, and Omnitor .The opinions herein are
those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funding