While SMS and mobile email are great, they still can't match the emotion, interaction, and intonation of a live conversation with someone -- that's why our phones still ship with microphones and speakers, apparently. Of course, this is much more difficult when one of the parties is deaf or hard of hearing, which is where video relay services come in. With the help of a videophone or your computer's webcam, you can make a call with a live translator, who speaks your signed ramblings out loud to the hearing person on the other end. Of course you're usually stuck at a desk when doing this, but now ZVRS is going to be supporting calls made from the iPhone 4 over FaceTime
. It might not be quite as sexy as Apple's goosebump-raising iPhone 4 commercial
, since the phone obviously makes two-way sign language calls possible, but if the person on the other end doesn't have an iPhone 4 or doesn't know sign language, ZVRS seems like the next best thing. The new service will launch on July 26th. Check out a video of it in action after the break, the actual call starts at 2:25.