0cpm as friends of R3TF

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!

The 0cpm project does not specifically aim to serve people with speech or hearing impairments; rather, it wants to serve a general audience with a broad array of communincation possibilities. It is our aim to make RTT available to all users, but we certainly enjoy servicing the people who really depend on it.

Links: Realtime Text or RTT for short, and its task force R3TF.

The aims of the 0cpm project

The telecom business and the Internet are Worlds apart -- where telephony is a fairly closed and immobile business, the Internet thrives on openness and innovation. Even though more and more telephony is conducted over the Internet, many roll-outs are still fairly tight services.

If you are deaf or can't speak, then you probably know the protocol SIP that is used for telephony. Unlike many others in the World, you also know that SIP is about more than just voice exchange and the simulation of analog telephony. You probably use it already to communicate through Realtime Text.

The goals of 0cpm are to recover the openness and friendliness of the Internet for telecommunication. For end-users that should lead to more facilities such as RTT, at a greatly reduced cost -- all the way down to 0 ct/min for direct calls over the Internet.

The technologies used

The 0cpm project centers around innovation of telepone technology for the Internet. The SIP protocol has a lot to offer, and we would like to pull that forward. Our focal points include:

The way we work

An important part in the 0cpm project is the development of an open source alternative to the embedded software (also known as firmware) of network telephony devices. It has often been shown that open source development, once it acquires a fair amount of users and developers, can reach for the stars and make the untinkable possible. It has brought competing vendors together, who each decided that they gained much more from entering into an important open source development than they would loose by sharing their work freely. Open source makes economical sense.

This is especially true for small-scale industry, where limited R&D funds make it difficult to innovate. By making phone firmware available in a form that any manufacturer can adopt, we are clearing the way for innovative solutions by those manufacturers, and we expect that there will be an increasing flow of phones equiped with our firmware, which we call the "0cpm Firmerware".

The 0cpm Firmerware incorporates RTT by default on all phones with a display. We will use the widely known SMS-approach of text entry for casual users. As explained above, this is in the interest of all end users. A disabled person's benefit will be that an increasing number of common users will be able to communicate with them through RTT. For these pepole, but also for receptionists and helpdesk staff who need more elaborate support, we are also looking for ways of integrating RTT with their desktop.

The current state is too early for end users, but we are preparing to find our way onto the market through reverse engineering of phones (the ones by Grandstream are our initial target). What that means is that it will be possible to purchase a standard phone, replace its software and continue to run an RTT-enabled phone. Or to have a company do it for you; the skills to replace the software currently are still a bit technical, but we are sure that will simplify as the project matures.

Developers may enjoy taking a look at the project's development pages.

How you can help

The development of this software is an open source project, and as a result it is looking for active help by developers, hardware reverse analysts, site designers and so on. In general, if you are motivated to help, just tell us what you do well and we can probably find a place in the project for you.

We are expecting telecom providers to make the switch to IPv6, and make a few other changes, such as RTT pass-through support. These changes are not dramatic; specifically for IPv6 you should not be surprised to find that your software already supports it, and you merely have to enable it. We would not be surprised if providers of RTT-based services are among the first to make the switch. Contact us for details.

Please contact Rick van Rein, email address rick at openfortress dot nl, if you want to learn more about this project, and/or to offer your help.