The technology pages of the BBC website recently report exciting research from computer giants IBM for the deaf and visually impaired.
Technique links words to signing.
Technology that translates spoken or written words into British Sign Language (BSL) has been developed by researchers at IBM.
The system, called SiSi (Say It Sign It) was created by a group of students in the UK.
SiSi will enable deaf people to have simultaneous sign language interpretations of meetings and presentations.
It uses speech recognition to animate a digital character or avatar.
IBM says its technology will allow for interpretation in situations where a human interpreter is not available. It could also be used to provide automatic signing for television, radio and telephone calls.
Virtual worlds open up to blind
Online virtual worlds could soon be accessible to blind people thanks to research by students at IBM in Ireland.
Some estimates predict that 80% of active internet users will be using a virtual world in four years’ time.
The company said that it is keen to ensure that blind people are not excluded from an environment that sighted people will take for granted.