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NPR Labs Produces Video of Captioned Radio Efforts

Result showcases project that began in 2008

NPR Labs has added a video to its website summing up its captioned-radio initiative with the goal of enabling deaf and hard of hearing Americans to experience or “listen” to radio.

NPR was invited by the administration’s Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra to demonstrate its innovations at the White House. The NPR Labs team showed government officials and representatives from groups representing disability communities its prototype car dashboard featuring a captioned-radio display in demos at both the White House and the Commerce Department.

The prototype Delphi display is a dual-view screen. The driver’s view shows GPS navigational maps while the passenger’s view shows real-time text of the audio being broadcast over the radio. The technology takes advantage of HD Radio transmissions to send a closed-captioned transcript of a live broadcast to the screen on a specially built receiver.

The video provides a look at NPR Labs’ efforts of the last two years in bringing captioned text to HD Radio transmissions and the Web, including what NPR says is the first-ever radio captioning on election night of November 2008. Several demonstrations of the technology took place that night; I attended the demo in Towson, Md. and met some folks who were excited about this effort.