A new form of communication for deaf Australians is being developed which uses webcams and video phones to provide live access to interpreters. The Multi-Media Response Service allows deaf users to make phone calls by signing in to their webcam or video phone, using interpreters to relay signed communications. Previous text-based forms of communication such as telephone typewriters, email, SMS and chat rooms permit information exchange, but are often a slow process and fail to recognize emotion. Tony Bennetts from the Australian Communication Exchange explains:
This will make every-day activities like talking with friends and loved ones, booking appointments and getting quotes for household jobs, easier and quicker.
The service will be tested for the next two years, but will be accessible at certain times from November 27.
[via Sydney Morning Herald]