Smarter TVs for the Visually Impaired

Finalist category: Accessibility Award 2014

T4GSamsung

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Finalist, 2014

As the world’s leading TV manufacturer by volume, Samsung supplies the UK’s highly competitive consumer electronics sector. Samsung’s leading market position provides it with a powerful platform to demonstrate how exciting advances in technology and processing power can improve the lives of consumers who are less able to take advantage of the latest advances in digital technology.

Having decided to place a greater strategic focus on the development of accessibility related features, Samsung has invested in developing new technology as part of this focus, including developing its own Text-to-Speech engine.

Samsung has, for many years, been increasing the level of accessibility in its TV products, adding features such as subtitling and audio description. In 2012, Samsung identified accessibility as a specific area of the TV design where significant improvements could be made, leading to improved usability for those users who are blind or partially sighted.

As a result a partnership was setup with RNIB which resulted in the immense improvements being seen in 2014, as demonstrated in this TV, in terms of increased functionality available to visually impaired and blind users which particularly enhances their experience and enjoyment.

Through this ongoing partnership, RNIB has reviewed the capabilities of previous Samsung TVs and provided a workshop in Korea to help educate the relevant Samsung staff on how to address the issues found.

Based on this collaboration, Samsung has introduced three new, innovative accessibility features: Voice Guide, Enlarge and a High Contrast User Interface (UI). This collaboration with the RNIB has continued with further analysis of the 2014 TV models to pinpoint potential future improvements which will be fed back as part of Samsung’s ongoing development process which forms part of a multi-year strategy to further extend accessibility features.

Sponsors

The Tech4Good Awards are organised by AbilityNet and BT and supported by a range of sponsors and partners:

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