More Info on the Softeq Captioning (installed by the Patriots)

Softeq has been active in the Assistive Technology space for over five years, providing both custom hardware and custom software to the most well known and respected theme parks and museums in the world.

Assistive technology (AT) is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. At Softeq, we have focused our AT efforts on making entertainment and educational venues accessible and immersive to individuals that are visually and/or hearing impaired. This includes Audio Description, Assistive Listening, and Closed Captioning.

The Durateq unit itself:
■ Rugged design withstands daily guest abuse in both inside and outside venues, yet small enough to carry all day
■ Audio amplifier supports Assistive Listening volume levels
■ IR receivers for seamlessly synchronizing content with exhibits and shows, using patented JAMSYNC technology
■ IR transmitter for enabling captioning content on external monitors
■ Large screen for display of closed captions
■ High-contrast buttons for the visually impaired, for triggering additional content or adjusting volume
■ Vibration alert notifies users of new content
■ Large 4GB storage capacity supports hundreds of hours of content in multiple formats and languages
■ FM Receiver capable of receiving FCC designated assistive listening frequencies
■ Extended battery life and multi-unit docking station

Softeq Captioning Device
Softeq Device with Charging Station
http://www.softeq.com/products.assistive.asp

From my understanding, WGBH is going to be creating the captions.

This looks great, and I would be interested in hearing about those who have used this sort of technology at Disney, or the Patriots, and what the experience was like.

(Hat tip to original blog by JJ Puorro: http://blog.deafread.com/iwii/archives/35, and original article on Boston.com http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2009/01/26/pats_hall_of_fame_levels_playing_field/

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8 thoughts on “More Info on the Softeq Captioning (installed by the Patriots)

  1. You cannot seriously be advocating the use of some weird hand-held device that’s miles away from the video being captioned, which by definition you won’t even be looking at.

    What the hell is wrong with open captioning?

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  2. Thanks for visiting, Joe – I have enjoyed your work on web accessibility and captions!

    What’s wrong with open captions? For me, Joe -not a thing. I love captions.

    But Joe, people use audio devices at the games too – my brother always listened to the play by play on the radio while watching the game, because the radio announcers gave better coverage. It’s not so weird. The captions are probably queued for a while, so if you didn’t catch a call, you can look back. I’d like it!. I have trouble hearing the calls at live games.

    If we can move culture, let’s get every movie, every venue open captioned. Until then, let’s make progress in getting captions anywhere!

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  3. Listening to commentary of a game you are already watching has nothing, whatsoever, to do with looking down at a tiny handheld device, at which time you are not looking at the movie.

    Can you not understand that your example deals with two senses while your the technology here distracts and impedes a single sense?

    What you’re presenting are not “captions.” They’re a separate transcript you can look at instead of watching the movie.

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  4. I soooo want to meet you someday! I love your passion about this important subject.

    But I do think I understand. Have you used captions? Captions distract/impede. You cannot focus on words and pictures at the same time.
    The mind can task switch, but not multi-task.

    Captions are mini-transcripts, whether presented on screen or off.

    And unlike with a movie/church situation, a game does not provide a single point of visual focus.

    Thus, having your own captioning control, with some ability to scroll backwards, would be awesome.

    To go a step further, it would be cool to make a premium device with video, and 5 minutes of DVR capability , and allow you to do your own replays!

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  5. I’ve been watching captions for 30 consecutive years and you are doing a remarkably poor job of arguing that looking away from the movie is a way to watch that movie.

    Stop acting like this is a great leap forward. It shouldn’t even meet the minimum ADA test, since the movie is not captioned. You are handed a separate device where you may, in visual isolation, read a transcript.

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  6. You missed something here, Joe – this is not a movie theatre, church, opera, or any other “single point of focus” auditorium – this is a football stadium. A separate device to focus on at a movie theatre sucks, whether it’s a reflector or a captioning device. No disagreement there at all!

    By the way, can’t wait for your captioning standards to start coming out. I would love to have some official study information beyond opinions on how best to caption. I laughed at your .3 second offset recommendation on accessify’s captioner, because I never noticed the timing, but I almost always have to go through my initial caption timing run, and adjust back 3 clicks, which is about .3 seconds. I bet there is some study behind that delay info.

    You are a smart man, Mr. Clark.

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  7. Thanks Bill for the well done recaps by yourself and JJ Puorro on the DURATEQ ATV. I am with the DURATEQ Division of Softeq and wanted to expand on the captioning feature that may be helpful. The captioning on the Durateq ATV handheld solution is for more than simply video in a theatre. At the Hall at Patriots Place for example, there are 50 multimedia exhibits, some with video, some only audio, some just physical (requiring some description), where integrated captioning on the exhibit simply isn’t possible. The Durateq let’s you experience the entire location and range of content. I would love to hear from you or any of your readers on their experience with the Durateq at Patriots Place, Disney, World of Coca Cola, etc. Our goal is to provide an immersive guest experience – for all guests. Thanks again for the highlight!

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  8. I’m not sure your relentlessly upbeat attitude is all that effective in discussing the issues here. I’m glad you like me! Now get them to caption the actual source of the dialogue and then we’ll talk.

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