New Developments in Low-Bit Rate Videotelephony for People Who Are Deaf This study was designed to evaluate the picture quality requirements for three visual communication modes: speechreading, fingerspelling, and sign language. Video recordings of everyday spoken, fingerspelled, and signed sentences were made, and some recordings were processed using a computer simulation of the IBIDEM technology: a videophone based on a novel ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1997
New Developments in Low-Bit Rate Videotelephony for People Who Are Deaf
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Wendy W. Woelders, PhD
    Instituut voor Doven Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands
    Instituut voor Doven, Research and development/Transfer, Theerestraat 42, 5271 GD Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands
  • Han W. Frowein
    Instituut voor Doven Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands
  • Jan Nielsen
    UNITEK Genova Italy
  • Paolo Questa
    University of Genova Italy
  • Giulio Sandini
    University of Genova Italy
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1997
New Developments in Low-Bit Rate Videotelephony for People Who Are Deaf
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1425-1433. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1425
History: Received September 4, 1996 , Accepted May 28, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1425-1433. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1425
History: Received September 4, 1996; Accepted May 28, 1997

This study was designed to evaluate the picture quality requirements for three visual communication modes: speechreading, fingerspelling, and sign language. Video recordings of everyday spoken, fingerspelled, and signed sentences were made, and some recordings were processed using a computer simulation of the IBIDEM technology: a videophone based on a novel type of visual sensor. This retina-like sensor, implemented in the camera, has a high resolution in the central part and a degrading resolution in the peripheral part of the picture. Two independent variables were examined: frame rate (10 and 15 frames per second) and spatial resolution (6000 and 8000 pixels per frame). Twenty-four people who were prelingually deaf participated, 8 in each communication mode. The results showed a marked effect of frame rate on speechreading. Fingerspelling and sign language were not affected by frame rate, and spatial resolution had no effect on any of the three communication modes.

Acknowledgments
This study was a part of the project IBIDEM (Image Based Interactive Device for Effective coMmunication), which is a project of the European Community project TIDE (Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly people), namely TIDE No.1038.
The authors wish to thank L. Dam, H. de Hoog, E. Buisman and T. Wesemann for speaking, fingerspelling, and signing the material, respectively.
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