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British Telecommunications Plc (BT), UK

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NBT is one of Europe's leading providers of telecommunications services with a turnover of approximately £20.2 billion in 2002/2003. Its principal activities include local, national and international telecommunications services, higher-value broadband and internet products and services, and IT solutions. In the year ended 31 March 2003 (the 2002/2003 Financial Year), 94% of our revenues were derived from operations within the UK, where we are the largest full service telecommunications operator, serving over 20 million corporate and residential customers with more than 29 million exchange lines, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators.

For further details see: [new window] http://www.bt.com

BT Exact, headquartered at Adastral Park (Martlesham Heath) in Suffolk, UK, is home to 3,500 of BT's top scientists, engineers and business people. Our employees include many who are world leaders in their specialist fields, working at the forefront of standards development and new technologies in areas such as multimedia, IP and data networks, mobile communications, network design and management, and business applications. We provide research, development and consulting services for BT - developing innovative technological ideas and solutions that translate into practical and marketable solutions for the businesses. Our labs played a leading role in the development of global communications standards and we inherit from them a science and engineering base acknowledged widely as second to none.

BT spent £380 million on Research and Development in 2002/2003. BT is an active participant in European collaborative R&D through its participation in EU Framework Programmes. BT has participated in all the EU Framework Programmes, mainly in the IST area.

Key Personnel:

Stephen Furner BA(hons) C.Psychol I.Eng MIIE. He is a Senior Technologies Manager at the BT research laboratories, where he leads research into human aspects of future technology in the Broadband Applications Research Centre. He is a technical specialist leading and carrying out research that challenges emerging technology to meet real human needs. Typical of Stephen’s research are projects such as MoBIC - orientation and navigation for people with visual disabilities ; Teach Speech - the delivery of speech and language therapy support into the classroom by videotelephony; or Teletouch - reaching into computationally generated worlds to touch and feel the objects they contain.

Stephen regularly publishes academic papers and has been on national radio and TV talking about the research he carries out for BT He originally joined the company as a trainee technician in London.. Here he qualified as an engineer through part-time study and was subsequently given special leave to study Psychology & Sociology full time at degree level. On graduation he moved to the BT laboratories Human Factors Research Unit. Stephen is currently the Chairman of the ETSI Technical Committee on Human Factors.

Selected publications:

  • "Assistive Technology for the Hearing-impaired, Deaf and Deafblind", 2003, Marion Hersh & Michael A.Johnson, with Conny Andersson, Douglas Campbell, Alistair Farquharson, Stephen M. Furner, John Gill, Alan Jackson, Jay Lucker, Keith Nolde, Erhard Werner, and Mike Whybray, Published by Springer-Verlag London, ISBN 1-85233-382-0

  • 'Haptic virtual environments for blind people: exploratory experiments with two devices', Jansson, G., Petrie, H., Colwell, C., Kornbrot, D., Fänger, J., König, H., Billberger, K., Hardwick, A. and Furner, S. 1999. International Journal of Virtual Reality, 4(1), 10 - 20.

Selected WWW sites:

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