Category: Communication

docomo Hands-Free Videophone for futuristic glasses-type HMD devices

NTT Docomo has developed the Hands-Free Videophone, which enables video calls without having to hold the camera. This is part of docomo’s research on creating future glasses-type devices.

The Hands-Free Videophone captures the user’s face with three cameras in each of the left and right sides of the frames. The video sent to the other person is created by combining the pictures with a pre-rendered 3D model of the users face.

Read the complete article at Diginfo.

Smart Gloves Turn Sign Language Gestures Into Vocalized Speech

Giving a voice to the voiceless has been a cause that many have championed throughout history, but it’s safe to say that none of those efforts involved packing a bunch of sensors into a glove. A team of Ukrainian of students has done just that in order to translate sign language into vocalized speech via a smartphone.

With the motto “We’re giving a voice to movements,” Team QuadSquad came in first place for their glove prototype in the Software Design Competition of the 2012 Microsoft Imagine Cup, winning $25,000 and garnering interest across the world, including developers anxious to bring their expertise to the project. Now the Ukranians have launched Enable Talk, a website that openly shares their ambitious vision, design documentation, and a business plan for how to bring the device to market. Furthermore, the team is looking into the possibility of enabling the same technology to allow cell phone conversations using the system.

That could mean a new way for about 70 million people with hearing and speech impairment to verbally communicate and connect to people around them.

The video that the Ukranian team used in the Microsoft competion gives a better feel for how the glove works:

Read the complete article at Singularity Hub.

How technology is helping people with speech impairments to talk

The world at his fingertips: Alan Martin shares a joke with Jon Henley. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

I am sitting staring at a computer screen. So far so banal, except that this screen features a red dot that, by some technological magic, tracks the movement of my eyes: I can place it where I want on the screen just by looking. The bottom of the screen portrays a keyboard, although I could, if I chose, select other screens made up of various vocabulary, grammar and expression-based menus, which, for experienced users, would doubtless speed things up.

Because this is painstaking. I look at a letter, and the red dot sits on it. I continue staring, and the dot blinks, twice. The letter then pops up at the top of the screen. I move on to the next letter (or, more often, the backspace).

It gets easier: there’s predictive text, like on a mobile phone, so I stare at the word I want, which gets added to my sentence. Eventually, the phrase is complete. I stare at it and it blinks. “What an amazing machine,” says a cool, synthesised voice. “Rather let down by its user.”

Read the complete article at The Guardian.

Email Will Never Die – The Man Who Invented It Reveals Why

Texting, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter – we have dozens of ways to pass a message from one user to the next, and yet we keep coming back to email. Why? According to the man who sent the first one, because there’s still nothing quite like it.

Possibly the most revealing statement that can be made about the power and perseverence of email is that – unlike almost everything else in the technology industry – how we use it has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years.

According to the Radicati Group, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day, and that number is projected to rise to 192.2 billion in 2016. There are about 3.4 billion email accounts worldwide, Radicati said, with three-quarters owned by individual consumers.

The youngest users of email, however, have an enormous number of different methods to choose from to communicate – and many of them prefer these methods for most communications.

This, in turn, has prompted to some to wonder whether email is a dinosaur, among them young people who say they actually mean “Facebook” when they say “email”. In 2010, comScore kicked off a fuss by noting that Web email use had dropped 59% among teens. So why would anyone continue to use email in the age of social media?

Read the complete article at ReadWriteWeb.