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November 15, 2002

'Hearing impaired can use phone soon'

From: Hindustan Times, India
Nov. 15, 2002

Press Trust of India
Coimbatore, November 15

Time is not far when deaf and dumb will be able to converse over telephone, according to a senior scientist of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science.

Responding to a query from a hearing impaired at a conference on "Empowering Technologies in Educating hearing Impaired Children in India" at Pollachi, near Coimbatore on Thursday evening Prof N Balakrishnan, Chairman, Super Computer Education and Technology, ISSC, said that his institution was working on a computer based technology to make deaf and dumb talk over telephone.

The web camera fixed in the computer would grasp figurative and sign languages from the hearing impaired, which would then be converted into sound language to enable them to converse over telephone, Balakrishnan said.

Balakrishnan, however pointed out that the project would take some time to materialise, as the institute had to concentrate on different languages, without sticking to one particular language.

Balakrishnan also said that the institute was working on a project of Universal Digital Library, by which one million books would be brought into the web. It would also have example based translation system, which could respond to any queries in any language.

When asked about decline in the demand for IT, he said that the students were mainly trained to combat the Y2K problem and once it was over they did not have much avenues and had to come back from abroad.

About four million IT professionals, with 80 billion dollar revenue would be required by 2008-2010,he said.

© Hindustan Times Ltd. 2002.