There are several things that frighten me. One of the most prolific in my mind is losing my sight. Frighteningly in the UK around 100 people will start to lose their sight every day. Furthermore there is a staggering 2 million people with sight issues. There have been leaps and bounds in technology to help blind and partially sighted people in the digital world and something exciting has just appeared on the market.
The RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) has teamed up with TVonics, a British manufacturer of Freeview set-top-boxes, and IVONA, a text-to-speech service, to deliver all the benefits of digital TV and Freeview+ HD to blind and partially sighted people. The new service utilises IVONA’s text-to-speech technology and has been specially created by RNIB for integration with the TVonics DTR-HD500 (Digital freeview HD Recorder).
…description to verbally describe the action taking place on screen…
The new text-to-speech software enables blind and partially sighted users to easily navigate the DTR-HD500’s EPG and guides them through features including channel selection, recording and accessing recorded programmes and pausing live television. The user can also enable audio description to verbally describe the action taking place on screen.
RNIB has tailored the IVONA text-to-speech technology to the TVonics DTR-HD500’s existing interface and EPG. The product hardware and design has remained unchanged from the box already in the market and the text-to-speech technology is available for free via a software download. For new customers, the product can be purchased directly through RNIB’s website where they will receive the software fully installed and ready to use, along with product support and advice on how to use the product and the text-to-speech technology.
…We sometimes forget about how hard life can be for some people…
With technology advancing who knows what level of perception the future holds for people with sight issues. We sometimes forget about how hard life can be for some people, but with incentives and forward thinking hopefully more technologies can be developed.
Image courtesy of TVonics