Friday, March 12, 2010

Lipreading, Helen Keller, and Cellphones

Today I watched the following video shared by Elizabeth on her blog (the video is captioned). In it, Anne Sullivan describes the process by which Helen Keller learned to sense mouth movements and to speak.

I was fascinated by the video and the eloquent way the method was described.

Then, I read about German research into creating a cellphone that can sense muscle activity and "read lips." The person speaking into the cellphone does not need to make any sound whatsoever - they can simply mouth words and be understood by the person on the other end of the line. Certainly useful for mute people, people who have difficulty speaking clearly due to hearing impairment, and even for privacy concerns among the public.

As amazing as the technology is, I find the human ability to adapt, as demonstrated in Helen Keller, even more amazing. I always considered Helen a hero, even as a child. I attended a public school named Keller (though I don't know if it was named after her), and learning about someone so courageous who dealt with so many obstacles was inspiring to me as a child.


  1. Why haven't I discovered your wonderful blog before??


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