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Speaking at Mobile Monday Amsterdam

Mobile Monday Amsterdam I will be speaking at the 14th event of the Mobile Monday chapter in Amsterdam titled Mobile Health. This event will take place on 25th of January with doors opening at 3pm and presentations running until 7pm with a half hour break. Even if you cannot be there, be sure to check out the livestream or watch all videos, talks and presentations afterward on MoMo Amsterdam website. You do not want to miss this, because some extraordinary people will take part in this event. I myself will be talking about mobile technology from a doctor’s standpoint, and try to give an overview of how this technology has influenced the way we treat patients today.

Here is the complete lineup:

Mobile Monday Amsterdam is a chapter of Mobile Monday Global. The chapter has over 3200 members since May, 2007 from different backgrounds (operator, developers, agencies, media, FMCG) all active in the development of the Mobile Lifestyle. Every other month Mobile Monday Amsterdam organizes a network event with visionary speakers and practical cases.

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Sign Language Over Slow Cellular Networks

Sure you might be enjoying your new iPhone or any other cool modern cell phone, but things aren’t so simple for the deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Now a group at the University of Washington has developed software that for the first time enables deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone.

This is the first time two-way real-time video communication has been demonstrated over cell phones in the United States. Since posting a video of the working prototype on YouTube, deaf people around the country have been writing on a daily basis.

“A lot of people are excited about this,” said principal investigator Eve Riskin, a UW professor of electrical engineering.
For mobile communication, deaf people now communicate by cell phone using text messages. “But the point is you want to be able to communicate in your native language,” Riskin said. “For deaf people that’s American Sign Language.”

Video is much better than text-messaging because it’s faster and it’s better at conveying emotion, said Jessica DeWitt, a UW undergraduate in psychology who is deaf and is a collaborator on the MobileASL project. She says a large part of her communication is with facial expressions, which are transmitted over the video phones.

Low data transmission rates on U.S. cellular networks, combined with limited processing power on mobile devices, have so far prevented real-time video transmission with enough frames per second that it could be used to transmit sign language. Communication rates on United States cellular networks allow about one tenth of the data rates common in places such as Europe and Asia (sign language over cell phones is already possible in Sweden and Japan).

Even as faster networks are becoming more common in the United States, there is still a need for phones that would operate on the slower systems.

“The faster networks are not available everywhere,” said doctoral student Anna Cavender. “They also cost more. We don’t think it’s fair for someone who’s deaf to have to pay more for his or her cell phone than someone who’s hearing.”

Learn more about the MobileASL project.

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