New Technology Allows Deaf-Blind People to “Watch” TV

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Refreshable Braille display requires no help from another person.

There is technology available to help deaf people watch TV. Closed captioning allows them to follow what’s happening on screen.

For blind people, there are voice-over comments to describe the action.

But what if you’re both deaf and blind?

Up to now, deaf-blind people needed help from another person. But now there’s a new technology that allows them to follow what’s happening on TV, Science News for Students reports.

A group at Carlos III University of Madrid has developed an electronic machine with a refreshable Braille display. The system uses subtitles from the TV and visual descriptions from the broadcast signal, sending them to an app that converts the signals into data for Braille. The signals then appear on the Braille display in less than a second.

Currently the system is only available in Europe, but a Florida foundation is working on bringing it to the United States.

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