NPR Labs, IAAIS Work to Give Radio Anytime to Visually-Impaired - Radio World

NPR Labs, IAAIS Work to Give Radio Anytime to Visually-Impaired

Exclusive to this report: NPR Labs has received a grant to develop a personalized audio information service for radio reading service listeners.
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Exclusive to this report: NPR Labs has received a grant to develop a personalized audio information service for radio reading service listeners.

Think of it like TiVo for radio reading services, says NPR Labs Research Associate Kyle Evans, who pitched the project and is spearheading the effort.

The idea is to make it easier for the visually-impaired to hear their radio when they want to, rather than having to listen in real-time.

The idea involves the metadata in the HD Radio audio stream. Using a special software program, individual stories in the audio would be “marked” so the receiver would recognize their beginning and end. Audio to text software would “translate” enough of the piece so the receiver could know when the user pushes a button to gather all the “dog” stories, for example, and buffer them for later listening.

The project is in the beginning stages, though some software would be needed, probably in the HD-R importer, to handle the speech to text translation, he said.

NPR Labs is partnering with IAAIS on the three-year project. It received the grant this week from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a subset of the Department of Education.

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