First Voice Guided TV Interface Expands Accessibility for People with Visual Disabilities

November 12, 2014

Comcast Cable Announces the Industry’s First Voice-Enabled Television Interface

Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Audience, Comcast Cable

(Wednesday, November 12, 2014) – The following is a soundbite from Tom Wlodkowski, vice president of audience for Comcast Cable, regarding the announcement of the industry’s first voice-enabled television interface. It will revolutionize the way customers, particularly those who are blind or visually impaired, explore and navigate shows and movies. According to the U.S. Census, there are 8.1 million Americans who have a visual disability.  

The “talking guide” features a voice that reads aloud TV selections like program titles, network names and time slots, as well as On Demand and DVR Commands. This feature is available before December 1 to all of Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers who have the X1 set top box.

Tom Wlodkowski, explains:   

SOUNDBITE #1    WHILE I WAS BORN BLIND, I STILL WATCHED MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS. BEFORE THE “TALKING GUIDE,” I HAD TO USE THE CHANNEL UP AND CHANNEL DOWN BUTTONS TO FIND SOMETHING TO WATCH. WITH THE “TALKING GUIDE,” TV LISTINGS, DVR RECORDINGS AND ON DEMAND TITLES ARE READ ALOUD. NOW IT’S EASY TO FIND SOMETHING TO WATCH. (:17)

“Talking Guide” audio sample:

SOUNDBITE #2    XFINITY MAIN MENU.  PRESS RIGHT OR LEFT ARROW TO REVIEW.  ON DEMAND PRESS RIGHT OR LEFT ARROW TO REVIEW.  “FAULT IN OUR STARS.”  THE “FAULT IN OUR STARS,” FROM FOUR DOLLARS AND NINETY-NINE CENTS, ENDS JANUARY 31ST, 2015.  (:15)

For more information, visit Comcast’s Accessibility Resources.

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