Named the winner in the set-top box (STB) innovation category by IMS Research during International CES 2012 last month, the set top boxes are like regular Freeview+ HD boxes, but will be able to talk to their owners and guide through the numerous pages of TV information, assisting those who have eyesight problems, are partially sighted or elderly.
Talking TV is a world 1st solution, providing Digital TV devices that speaks to its users with a human voice, and incorporates an assistive User Interface (UI) and advanced text to speech solution for the EMEA market. The STB technology, which voices on-screen information, including programme guides and menus, uses human speech to guide users with eyesight impairment through the numerous pages of TV information and programmes.
Ocean Blue’s assistive technology is a low cost solution, developed in partnership with digital TV chip giant, STMicroelectronics. Its is an advanced version of the technology initially developed in cooperation with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) over the last three years, and will be integrated into a DVB-T2 Freeview STB. The launch coincides with the UK’s digital switchover and comes as the country is gearing up to host the Olympics and Paralympics. This award winning set top box solution will allow millions of people in the UK and Europe to access the Olympic Games, possibly for the first time.
“The digital switchover has multiplied the number of channels to 50 plus, for UK consumers, making navigation very difficult for 10-15 percent** of the population who have some form of eye sight or reading disability or are just in need of assistance in accessing TV programmes.,” said Ken Helps, Founder and CEO of Ocean Blue Software. “This technology is a huge step forward to making digital TV accessible to all sectors of the community, including the elderly who can struggle with the often confusing and busy interfaces of many Freeview boxes, and will benefit from a more simplified experience.”
Ocean Blue’s software allows for a range of languages and dialects, current set top box versions include German, French & Spanish.
The company has been pioneering and promoting the Talking TV technology for over 3 years. It has shown its ground-breaking technology around the world and seen other countries legislate for its inclusion. In the US, for example, text-to-speech technology was included in President Obama’s 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and is expected to become law later this year. And in Australia, the Government Helpbox scheme for Talking TV technology is now a standard for TV.
If you would like to see a demonstration of this award-winning technology, you can visit us at the IP&TV World Forum – 20th-22nd March, stand 105. Or email Amy Lowe to schedule a meeting:
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