While the development of cell phone technology marches on, to the point where owning a cell phone's become practically mandatory for anyone living in a modern urban society, there's only so much a hearing-impaired person can do with a cell phone. Texting is well and good, but that comes with the usual technological and sociological limitations of SMS.
Hence the Mobile ASL project at the University of Washington, which aims to develop a new real-time video compression scheme that can transmit within existing networks, while retaining sufficient video quality to enable viewers to follow sign language movements in a video call.
The problem with existing networks is that the bandwidth is typically too low to send video files that accurately capture the various sign language gestures. Working within network constraints, Mobile ASL researchers Professors Eve Riskin, Sheila Hemami and Richard Ladner have instead devised a new compression software. It uses skin detection algorithms to zoom in on those specific areas in the video that contain essential movements used to communicate via ASL - typically, hand, face and arm movements.
BBC reports that the researchers are currently in talks with handset makers and operators to make the software available on cell phones. Hopefully it won't be long now before this becomes a standard accessibility feature that turns "making a phone call" into everyday parlance for the deaf.
Personally, I think "enter" and "escape" are funnier to wear on either side of your head, but maybe that's just me.
These earrings are made from genuine "home" and "end" keys plucked from a computer keyboard. The keys are secured beneath orange glass beads and hang from silver wire hoops. It seems the keyboard junkyard has been wiped out, though, because the product page is showing that these $7.50 danglers are already sold out.
I’ve never been a person who can finish an entire book in one sitting, even if it’s the latest Harry Potter instalment or one of those un-put-downable Salman Rushdies I’m partial to. I usually stick an old receipt or Post-It note into my books to bookmark where I stopped reading, which works fine for its purposes, but the gadget-collecting side of me was really intrigued by the Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark.
This bookmark takes some of the sophistication we’re used to seeing with internet bookmarking these days, and adds a little technological pizzazz to the humble paper bookmark. It has a built-in clock, a countdown timer with an alarm and a cumulative timer to record the total amount of time you’ve spent reading. Though it’s designed to help children develop the reading habit, I think it works equally well for busy adults who still enjoy a good book. If, like me, you find that you never seem to set aside enough time to read books, you can set the alarm so that you give yourself a fixed amount of time just for that. Or you can keep track of how much time you spend reading every day or week (and hopefully not be horrified by the result).
An added bonus: the Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark comes in neon blue, neon purple and neon green. If you ever wanted a trendy-looking bookmark for the digital age, this is it.
The bookmark costs $8.95 and is suitable for children ages 5 and up.
Ever feel like when it comes to your weight you're walking on eggshells? Well you can do that quite literally with this bathroom egg scale by Viceversa. Exactly what metaphor this accessory is going for is not entirely clear, but it's indisputably novel. So much so that perhaps while you ponder what on earth the designers of this object were thinking, you won't worry as much about those extra pounds you've been putting on. Misdirection is the best form of deception.
A girl can never have too much bling, except maybe Paris Hilton, so don't tell her about these iPod-Swarovski Crystal MP3/IPod Ear Phones.
The 'Hand Rocked' Swarovski crystal earphones for your MP3 or iPod come in Clear, Gold, Red, Sapphire, Light Sapphire, Fuschia and Light Pink and coodinate with iPod covers.
Made in the UK with over 800 genuine Swarovski crystals, these are the perfect sparkly accessory. The aluminium iPod nano case is hinged to allow access to all your ipod functions, and has a felt lining to protect your baby.
From the wonderfully eclectic English site, Boutique to You, figure 19.99 GBP (approx. $39) for the ear buds and 49.99 GBP ($97) for the Swarovski encrusted crystal cases.