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Modern Sign Language communication

Sign Language communication is a system of communication using visual gestures and signs, as used by deaf people. A unique property of Sign Language is that it is not easy to put on paper due to a lack of formal acceptance, and is impossible to be mediated over the phone or in a plain email. Because of its three-dimensional nature, it can only be transferred in the form of timed two or three dimensional snapshots, also known as a video. The video itself has to be large and fast enough to capture sign language movements sufficiently.

In the late 1990s, it became possible for deaf people to use electronic communication tools as another channel for Sign Language. Initially, there weren't many choices prior to the advent of more interfaces (e.g. APIs like "getUserMedia".). With these, however, deaf people can perform electronic sign language exchanges independently without the need for a third person in the middle, i.e. a Video relay service.

Comparison of Sign Language communication toolsEdit

Tool Owner Free? Pure web based?[a] Works on desktops? Mobile support? Uses email? Required hardware Installation Limitations Specialities Technologies Deaf made? Licensing
Facebook Messenger Facebook Yes No Yes Yes No Any mobile App must be installed, does not require a FB account ? No 100% proprietary
FaceTime Apple Inc Yes No Yes Yes No Apple hardware only (Desktop or mobile) App must be installed, requires Apple ID account ? No 100% proprietary
Glide (software) Glide Yes No No Yes No Any mobiles App must be installed ? No 100% proprietary
Google Hangouts Google Yes No Yes Yes No Any Desktop or mobiles App must be installed, requires Google account ? No 100% proprietary
Skype Microsoft Yes No Yes Yes No Any Desktop or mobile App must be installed, requires Microsoft account ? No 100% proprietary
Tikatoy Tikatoy Yes No Yes Android only Yes Desktop or Android Requires a web browser with Adobe Flash Apple blocks Adobe Flash C++, JavaScript, Python Yes 100% proprietary Binary Kitchen Yes Yes Yes Android only Yes Desktop or Android, iPhone and Safari (web browser) only for viewing Web browser Recording max 3 minutes, does not work on old browsers Reusable: can be plugged directly into other websites or as a WordPress plugin ninja-forms-videomail JavaScript Yes Mixed. Proprietary server and client is open source[1]
  1. ^ Pure web based means, it is using standardised web technologies only such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS.