Audio description app allows blind people to enjoy VoD content

Blind and partially sighted people will now have access to a wide range of VoD services thanks to a new app which provides audio description (AD).

The MovieReading app will provide AD for TV programmes and films watched through on-demand services. It is currently being test by more than 150 blind and partially sighted people.

AD is commentary that describes scenes, body language, expressions and movements during films and TV programmes so that people with sight loss are able to experience them completely.

Steve Tyler, head of solutions strategy and planning at RNIB, said: “Audio description enhances the television and film viewing experience for its users. They use it on TV, cinemas and DVD, so why not on the VoD services as well?

“We believe that the app could serve as a personalised solution for AD users and are keen to hear what the participants in the trial have to say about their user experience.”

The MovieReading app has been developed by Universal Multimedia Access and made accessible in the UK in partnership with the sight loss charity RNIB. The app seamlessly syncs AD with the TV programme of film soundtrack, and delivers AD in real time.

While the UK is the world leader in AD – with over 70 television channels and many cinemas delivering it – the offering for VoD services is far more limited. Only three out of the 96 VoD players operating in the UK currently deliver description.

This is set to change with the development of the MovieReading app. Participants in the trial will be able to use AD with popular TV programmes Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire.

DTG Staff  |  12.03.2015

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