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The Real Time Text Taskforce (R3TF) is a centre for advocacy and knowledge exchange in the field of Real-Time Text (RTT). This is done as an open forum using Task-Groups where engineers, experts, motivated individuals, companies and organisations can contribute to the promotion, design and implementation of interoperable real-time text solutions and encourage the adoption of RTT in mainstream products and services.

Besides standardisation of RTT in Internet and telecommunication, the R3TF will promote the interoperability of RTT implementations to the greatest extent feasible in order to avoid fragmentation caused by incompatible protocols. The R3TF will also distribute information on the technology, its user requirements and implementation and act as an educator on related issues in order to improve the understanding of what Real-Time Text is. More in-depth details about the R3TF and her tasks an be found on the "Foundation R3TF" and the "Charter" pages.

Now, you might wonder: "What is Real-Time Text (RTT)?" Real-time means that something occurs within a fraction of a second. For example, a voice conversation between two or more people happens in real-time. As it is being spoken, the sound of one person’s voice is received immediately by the other. Another example of real-time is a computer game, where the actions of the player are immediately shown on the computer screen.

Real-time text is text transmitted instantly while it is being typed or created. The recipient can immediately read the sender's text as it is written, without waiting.
This allows text to be used in the same conversational mode as voice.

Real-Time Text is the closest you get to voice using text! It allows you to talk using text.

Link to the textual description of the flash movie

RTT can be used on its own to enable conversations using text. It can also be used where voice is impractical (such as in noisy environments or meetings) or it can be used together with voice and video conversations to replace or support voice and to transfer additional information like numbers, currency amounts, spelling of words, it can be anything that needs to be communicated.

RTT is important as an alternative to voice communications, especially for people with disabilities who have difficulty hearing or speaking. RTT allows a more natural, bi-directional flow of conversation to take place compared with the technology of instant messaging or mobile phone text messaging. See "RTT in detail" for more in-depth information.