You know Short Message Service of course. Or Texting? The mobile telecom providers were lucky that they had an unoccupied small bandwidth left over that could be used as a 120 character max. message service. It developed rapidly and became a gold mine. But for the deaf and hard-of-hearing users it wasn’t. For them the messages are relatively long and the reply, if any, is delayed too long. It is not interactive enough for them.
Interactive texting as part of Total Communication, was an idea of Arnoud van Wijk www.realtimetext.org (who was deaf, is technically educated and user of a Cochlear Implant (CI) and an advocate for Total Communication. Arnoud visited twice a-year the IETF conference on telecom standards and protocols. As an expert he had a say in the committee that issued directives on special telecom protocols. He strongly made his case and succeeded! A new protocol was accepted and a few years later Dutch telecom provider KPN adapted her switching stations to the interactive texting application as part of the general SIP-protocol.
Total communication is a standard for simultaneous video, voice and text service in telecommunications. Total communication allows people in two or more locations to: (a) see each other, (b) hear each other, and (c) conduct a text interaction with each other, or choose to communicate with any combination of those three modes and to do so in real-time.It is an example of Design for All.
For this achievement Arnoud van Wijk and Richard Tanke obtained the Dutch BOM Innovation price 2000.
A small Dutch company AnnieS (named after deafblind teacher Annie Sullivan) offered for more than 10 years commercial accounts with a Blackberry for this new messaging service.
- Total Communication realised in user-approved test system
- BOM Innovation price 2000 (with Arnoud van Wijk)