New technique to help deaf-blind ‘watch’ TV

Researchers have invented a technique that types Braille in real time and helps deaf-blind people “watch” television without intermediaries.

Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid undertook “PervasiveSUB Project” that compiles all the subtitles of television channels and sends them to a central server which forwards them to smartphones or tablets.

From there, they are sent to the Braille line of the deaf-blind person through an app making it possible to control the speed of the subtitles that are captured directly from the TV broadcast in perfect synchronisation.

PervasiveSUB was financed by Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider Telefonica.

“At Telefonica we endeavour to become a more accessible company and that way contribute to equal opportunities for all. And although we still have a long way to go, the new inclusive technologies and the digital revolution are the best means to help us get there,” Arancha DAaz-Llado, director of Telefonica’s Sustainable Innovation, said.

The tests had great success and the technology has already been implemented on all the national and regional Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) channels in Madrid.

The research team is now providing this service free of charge to anyone who needs it.