From 29 June to 4 July 2020, VIDEO TO VOICE once again attended the Swiss Conference on Barrier-free Communication. While the Coronavirus outbreak prevented participants from travelling to Switzerland, the ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics made arrangements for the event to go ahead online. With an exciting program lined up, the Berlin-based tech firm didn't let the current global situation dampen their enthusiasm for the lively forum.
This rescheduled e-conference was the final edition in a series of three events being held as part of the “Proposal and Implementation of a Swiss Research Centre for BfC”. The primary aim of the scheme is to ensure people with visual, hearing or temporary cognitive impairments have access to higher education. Service providers, target groups, and umbrella organisations are involved so that research and practice can become more closely aligned.
VIDEO TO VOICE was in attendance at the first conference held in September 2017 which focused on the current methods and products used in BfC. Here, the Berlin start-up presented the first prototype of Frazier, an intuitive text-to-speech editor for simplified and cost-efficient audio description (AD) production. Co-founder Christian David also provided a detailed account of text-to-speech audio description (TTS AD) on the internet and the potential for more accessibility.
VIDEO TO VOICE also attended the second edition of the conference which also took place at the ZHAW in November 2018. At this event, student Marina Gerster from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting presented a paper on Frazier that explored whether blind and visually impaired people consider a synthetic AD voices as a viable alternative to their human counterparts. As evidenced here, VIDEO TO VOICE has been committed to working with academic institutions in the development and use of Frazier from the company’s very beginnings.The global pandemic meant participants had to attend the 2020 forum from home, missing out on a trip to Winterthur
This year’s Swiss Conference on Barrier-free Communication provided a wider international forum to discuss recent developments and future challenges facing BfC. The event covered aspects of the field with a particular focus on the latest research findings and emerging disciplines, such as interlingual live-subtitling, live-subtitling into easy-to-read language, and text-to-sign interpreting by deaf interpreters.
As ever, VIDEO TO VOICE was happy to attend the conference and contribute to a wide-ranging discussion concerning the future direction of the field. Check out the presentation below to learn more about Frazier or read our blog entries.