NPR Labs Technology Research Center folks met with receiver manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show to discuss accessible radio features such as its planned Personalized Audio Information Service and captioned radio displays.
While I’ve written about PAIS before; now it’s been developed to the point where NPR Labs hopes to have a working device at the spring NAB Show.
Using a station’s HD Radio signal, PAIS would automatically assemble stories a listener is interested in; I think my past example category was “poodle stories.” PAIS is considered especially useful for the blind or print-impaired. The essence of PAIS, so Rich Rarey and Mike Starling told me, is the XML tags that are transmitted in the Program Service Data of the IBOC transmission. Read Rich’s paper on how the technology works.
On the heels of NPR’s demonstration of captioning technology during the 2008 presidential election, NPR continues to evaluate competing technologies for cost-effective deployment of captioning radio broadcasts. It has now issued a Request for Information to receiver manufacturers for annual captioning costs.
NPR has also issued a Request for Quotation for accessible radios in general, and would like to have those soon.