UIST2.0 Archive - 20 years of UIST
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time compression

In Proceedings of UIST 1993
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SpeechSkimmer: interactively skimming recorded speech (p. 187-196)

In Proceedings of UIST 1995
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Hands-on demonstration: interacting with SpeechSkimmer (p. 71-72)

video compression

In Proceedings of UIST 2009
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Activity analysis enabling real-time video communication on mobile phones for deaf users (p. 79-88)

Abstract plus

We describe our system called MobileASL for real-time video communication on the current U.S. mobile phone network. The goal of MobileASL is to enable Deaf people to communicate with Sign Language over mobile phones by compressing and transmitting sign language video in real-time on an off-the-shelf mobile phone, which has a weak processor, uses limited bandwidth, and has little battery capacity. We develop several H.264-compliant algorithms to save system resources while maintaining ASL intelligibility by focusing on the important segments of the video. We employ a dynamic skin-based region-of-interest (ROI) that encodes the skin at higher quality at the expense of the rest of the video. We also automatically recognize periods of signing versus not signing and raise and lower the frame rate accordingly, a technique we call variable frame rate (VFR).

We show that our variable frame rate technique results in a 47% gain in battery life on the phone, corresponding to an extra 68 minutes of talk time. We also evaluate our system in a user study. Participants fluent in ASL engage in unconstrained conversations over mobile phones in a laboratory setting. We find that the ROI increases intelligibility and decreases guessing. VFR increases the need for signs to be repeated and the number of conversational breakdowns, but does not affect the users' perception of adopting the technology. These results show that our sign language sensitive algorithms can save considerable resources without sacrificing intelligibility.