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Penan’s Oroo’ Short Message Signs (PO-SMS): Co-design of a Digital Jungle Sign Language Application

Abstract : Oroo’, a very peculiar jungle sign language of the semi-nomadic Penan in Malaysia, Borneo Island, is at the virtue of extinction with recent changes in lifestyle. The youth inhabiting the rainforest are more drawn to technology than traditional forest activities needing cognizance of Oroo’. In partnership with community members of Long Lamai, as part of a long term collaboration, we launched into revitalizing Oroo’ through digitalization. Complementing previous efforts of database, tangible and game developments, we postulate that a language can only be revitalized if integrated in daily use. Thus in this paper we present the co-design of the Penan’s Oroo’ Short Message Signs (PO-SMS) application, which extends current technology driven communication means. Following a community-based co-design approach, a group of local youth and elders have led the unique design of their own digital indigenous communication tool. Our research contributes directly to the INTERACT 2015 theme of “Connection.Tradition.Innovation”.
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Tariq Zaman, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus. Penan’s Oroo’ Short Message Signs (PO-SMS): Co-design of a Digital Jungle Sign Language Application. 15th Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2015, Bamberg, Germany. pp.489-504, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-22668-2_38⟩. ⟨hal-01599898⟩

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