Sign Language Telephone for The Hearing Impaired

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 22171
Amount: $50,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
954 New London Road, Neward, DE, 19711
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gregg M. Stum
 (302) 737-5416
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
The goal is to produce a sign language telephone providing visual communication to the hearing impaired. Currently their only access to telephone conversation is with typed messages using Telephone for the Deaf and Disable. Sign language is a more appropriate and effective communication medium than is written English. Physical limitations of the existing telephone network preclude transmission of video images in real time. Intelligibility studies of sign language indicate that outline images of the face, arms, and hands convey at least 90% intelligibility, the minimum standard for voice conversations over the telephone. ASEL has a transputer-based personal computer system that converts a video image into such an outline image in real time. Phase I will develop a Sign Language Terminal Board (SLTB) that replaces the transputer network and implements compression/uncompression software to achieve a transmission rate of ten frames per second. The SLTB is built using a set of proprietary integrated circuits under development at the University of Delaware for ASEL. Phase II will combine this chipset into one VLSI chip, enhance the SLTB to contain the compression/uncompression, and develop the sign language telephone as a portable stand-alone unit.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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