Developer discusses the creation of handheld audio description device

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Friday, 17 July 2015 12:00pm

In a recent interview, Bryan Gould, Accessible Learning and Assessment Technologies Director at the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) in the USA, talked about the development of the Durateq, a handheld audio description device which is now in use in Disney theme parks.

Spaceship Earth structure at Walt Disney World's EPCOT theme park, illuminated at night

The device, which was developed in collaboration with Softeq, incorporates GPS technology, so it can tell where users are as they walk around the parks, and deliver descriptions of their surroundings. When users move indoors, it switches seamlessly to infrared reception of audio description.

Peter Lane, who interviewed Gould, said he had used the device “at Disney World in Florida, and it was very small and relatively light-weight, about 8 ounces, and had a shoulder strap and earphones, and very effective tactile buttons that are simple to use. But the menuing and the overlay of scripts and menus with the GPS was absolutely remarkable, and I had a wonderful experience with my family not having to beg my wife to describe everything around us, and where are we now, where is the nearest restroom and things like that.”

The interview is part of a BADcast podcast called Champions In Accessibilities for Blind Abilities.

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