Feeds

UK computer boffins build sign language avatar

Nifty

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Computer scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have joined forces with animation specialists at Televirtual, and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) to create a signing avatar capable of translating written web pages into British sign language.

Two signing experts from the RNID helped to translate the physicality of British sign Language into a set of symbols. These symbols have been further translated into computer code by UEA researchers, the BBC reports, which will prompt Guido to animate the appropriate gesture.

Traditionally setting up a virtual signer means dressing actual people in body suits and recording the movements. This can take a significant amount of time. Using the Guido system, the whole animation process can be done on a PC.

When you think of accessibility issues on the web, you are probably more likely to think of a blind or partially sighted person needing some kind of text-to-voice translation of a web page. However, Sue Moore, from Norwich charity Deaf Connexions, told the BBC that the package will make web sites more accessible to deaf people whose first language is sign language, but for whom written English is still inaccessible.

Guido will be going live on the Deaf Connexions site today.

In kinda related news, CEC Systems, the company behind the spoken search engine Speegle, has launched a spoken RSS service that will read out your chosen feeds, while you work on other things.

Company founder Gordon Renton says that this is not an accessibility tool, but another way of accessing information. He sees it as something akin to having the radio on in the background and envisages brokers using it to track news instead of relying on news tickers.

We're not entirely convinced, but you can check it out here. Let us know what you make of it. ®

Related stories

Public IT must be accessible: EC
BT automates talking book production
PLCs hit back at complaints on web accessibility

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.