Some individuals may partake in video conferencing as a fun form of communication that enhances the intimacy of a conversation with face-to-face contact. For other users, the technology can ultimately change their lives.
American Sign Language users and individuals who are hard of hearing have discovered the life-changing qualities of video conferencing software. Face-to-face communication is crucial for those who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and sign language to understand a person's message. While video conferencing on computers has helped these individuals significantly, the modern capabilities of smartphones have greatly impacted deaf people's methods of communication.
Mobile applications are available on iPhones, Android devices and other smartphones with front-facing cameras that allow the phone user to conduct a video conference through web-based software. A phone call is a luxury that those with regular hearing abilities may take for granted, calling their friends with ease as they stroll through the mall or on their way home from work.
For deaf individuals, that convenient phone call was a useless method of communication. Now, they can take a break from holiday shopping and video chat a friend or family member who also has a video conferencing mobile application. As technology continues to advance, it may not be too long before all cellular devices have the capacity for video conferencing.