Browser-based and mobile video communication alternatives for Deaf people
This thesis offers some prototypes to provide browser-based and mobile video communication services for Deaf people and evaluates these prototypes. The aim of this research is to identify an acceptable video communication technology for Deaf people by designing and evaluating several prototypes. The goal is to find one that Deaf people would like to use in their day-to-day life. The thesis focuses on two technologies | browser-based systems and mobile applications. Several challenges emerged, for example, specific Deaf user requirements are difficult to obtain, the technical details must be hidden from end users, and evaluation of prototypes includes both technical and social aspects. This thesis describes work to provide South African Sign Language communication for Deaf users in a disadvantaged Deaf community in Cape Town. We posit an experimental design to evaluate browser-based and mobile technologies in order to learn what constitutes acceptable video communication for Deaf users. Two browser-based prototypes and two mobile prototypes were built to this effect. Both qualitative data and quantitative data are collected with user tests to evaluate the prototypes. The video quality of Android satisfies Deaf people, and the portable asynchronous communication is convenient for Deaf users. The server performance is low on bandwidth, and will therefore cost less than other alternatives, although Deaf people feel the handset is costly.