Digital technology

New cinema access system moves to development phase

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SightCine, a Los Angeles based start-up company, has secured development funding to create a prototype of its caption glasses concept. The idea is that the captions are displayed on the screen but are only visible to people wearing the glasses.

There is not much detail in exactly how the glasses work, but other systems using glasses have been developed before. In February 2007 an emerging technologies demonstration was showcased at a cinema in Washington DC. This was reported in Winter 2007 issue of The Media Access Report (“R&D For Cinema Captioning Systems”, p16).


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Are news websites accessible? Have your say

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Continuing last month’s theme, the Australian Web Access Review (AWARe) will focus on the accessibility of news websites in March. Three popular news websites have been selected for this month including The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Last month the ABC News website, Yahoo!7 and Ninemsn News were up for review. The website judged most accessible was ABC News with a rating of 3 out of 4.

To have your say, go to the AWARe website, register and answer some questions on the accessibility of the sites. Your involvement will be vital in helping Media Access Australia talk with the website owners and address accessibility issues.


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Introducing the Dingoo: an affordable handheld gaming device with access features

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The Dingoo is a handheld gaming device produced in China that is rapidly gaining in popularity in Internet circles. It can be used to play Dingoo-specific games, emulated games from old game consoles, most music files, most video files, an FM radio, view pictures and view e-books. What makes the device even more interesting is that it retails for about $100, and it contains a number of access features including a text-to-speech reader.

The Dingoo itself is similar in size to other handheld gaming devices, measuring 125mm × 55.5mm × 14mm.  The screen size is nearly 75mm (3”) and has speakers, a headphone jack, and a USB jack for copying files and charging it.

From an access perspective, the Dingoo has some good features which are usually difficult to find in this price bracket. The most notable feature is its text-to-speech function which allows e-books and text files to be read out aloud by the Dingoo. The voice is female with a Chinese accent, and is easy to understand.


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Nintendo announces DSi XL, with 93% larger screen

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Today Nintendo America announced it will be releasing a new version of the Nintendo DSi model with a screen nearly twice the size of previous models, improving the gaming experience for people who are vision impaired.

 

In addition to the larger screen, the DSi XL will also have a new social media focus, to try and provide better social gaming options through the increased screen real estate.

The DSi XL will be launched in the United States on 28 March and retail for $US189.99.  There is currently no confirmed launch date for Australia. Further information on the DSi XL can be found on the CNET News website.


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