Sure, texting has taken the entire world by storm and is likely to remain the next best option to actually speaking to someone for quite some time, but for those who feel that keying in paragraphs of information takes a bit too much time, they're looking for alternatives. Designed to assist the mute and deaf (or those who just love the limelight) who rely on cellphones, the MobileASL video compression project seeks to enable sign language over video telephony, even on less-than-speedy data networks. Developed at the University of Washington, the specialized skin detection algorithms are able to key in on critical moving parts (read: hands and fingers) and utilize the limited bandwidth to broadcast the most important vectors first. The ASL encoders are compatible with the H.264 / AVC compression standard, and while it wasn't directly stated just how viable this option was for those stuck on a 1xRTT connection, you can hit the read link to get in on the user studies if you're down with signing.

[Via Slashdot]

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