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May 12, 2004


From: North Scotland Press and Journal - Aberdeen,Scotland,UK - May 12, 2004

New technology is being developed by university experts in Aberdeen aimed at improving communication for deaf people.

Researchers at The Robert Gordon University are developing video-conferencing systems specifically designed for deaf users.

Current videophone technology can be frustrating because of poor-quality images and 'jerky' movements.

The research aims to develop new videophone systems that transmit important image features with the best possible quality.

Laura Muir and Dr Iain Richardson of RGU's Image Communication Technology Group are leading the research with support from the Scottish Council on Deafness and volunteers from the Aberdeen Deaf Social and Sports Club.

Dr Richardson said: "Videotelephony (two-way visual communications over computer networks) is a key enabling technology for the deaf community.

"Our initial experiments are designed to find out which parts of a sign language video clip convey the most information."

The new approach is currently being tested with deaf people from the Aberdeen area.

© Northcliffe Electronic Publishing Ltd.