Multi-lingual lip reading computers

31 07 2009

New lip-reading computers can ‘speak’ everything from English and Arabic to Cantonese and Italian.

The technology, developed by scientists at the University of East Anglia, was developed by modelling the lip movements of 23 bilingual and trilingual speakers. They reckon it could bring huge benefits to deaf people, to law enforcement agencies and those operating in noisy environments.

Professor Stephen Cox, who led the research, said it had confirmed long held beliefs about lip movement and language. He said: “This is an exciting advance in automatic lip reading technology and the first scientific confirmation of something we already intuitively suspected – that when people speak different languages they use different mouth shapes in different sequences. For example, we found frequent ‘lip-rounding’ among French speakers and more prominent tongue movements among Arabic speakers.” The ground-breaking research was presented at a major conference in Taiwan in April.

(Hell, I could’ve told them that!)

Source: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
This was also reported by BBC News.





Subtitles for Apple Mac tutorials

11 04 2009

I’ve bought an electronic frisbee Apple MacBook Air and am struggling with finding out how to use all the applications, as it didn’t come with a manual. I found video tutorials online however they aren’t captioned. A problem for me, since I can’t hear!

I discovered this site, Mac Video Tutorial subtitles project. The video tutorials are subtitled by volunteers. Brilliant! Just what I need, and I’m sooo grateful.

Captions are available in English and Italian, and they would love more volunteers, to translate into other languages.

I have to say, with Apple liking to be seen as being at the forefront of technology, why haven’t they captioned all their videos? It’s not a technically difficult thing to do.





Textphones R Us

19 02 2008

When Teletec closed down at the end of November and the Captel service ceased, I was left with a phone handset that didn’t work. I chose the Geemarc textphone from Typetalk as it is supposed to be very good and was recommended by some friends.

Click here for a demonstration of the Geemarc.

The phone arrived. How exciting! I unwrapped it, read the instructions, inserted the required batteries, connected it to the phone line, switched it on, and phoned a friend. Nothing seemed to happen. I asked a hearing colleague to try for me. No go. We contacted the RNID, Typetalk and our building personnel to try to solve the problem, whatever it was. It turned out there was a bar on the line so they lifted it. The phone still didn’t work.

I sent the phone back to the RNID and a replacement arrived shortly after. I set it up again and tried to make a call. Nothing. How annoying.

Now I’m awaiting further investigation into the phone system set-up. I’ve also discovered Typetalk calls can still be made online, using your computer as a textphone. I tried this some years ago and it kept crashing my computer as the textphone modem and my computer modem worked at different speeds.

If you’re interested (and like taking risks!),

Click THIS LINK for the software and the instructions are here >>>
Using your computer as a textphone

I’ve been without a phone for 3 months now, which is a tad inconvenient, and investigations are ongoing. I am now wondering… for all the good the Geemarc is doing me, will Access to Work approve this Winnie-the-Pooh phone I’ve had my eye on? Check it out, it’s even got flashing lights – just what Access to Work recommended the last time I asked them for a textphone! And at £14.99 it doesn’t even blow their budget 😛