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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Captions in 360 Video: Rapid Prototyping for User Testing

Date & Time
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 4:20 PM PST  
Elite 1-3  

Immersive media technologies, like Virtual Reality (VR) and 360º video, are increasingly present in our society. Their potential has put them in the spotlight for both the scientific community and the industry. This influences the entertainment sector and other key sectors of society, like education, arts, and culture, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, as VR enables interactive, hyper-personalized, and engaging experiences anytime, anywhere. In this context, 360º videos have become a simple and cheap yet effective medium to provide VR experiences. Major platforms, like YouTube, Facebook, and news platforms such as The New York Times, are currently providing 360º videos in their service offerings.

Media Accessibility is becoming mainstream, and, thanks to the United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), it is also an issue of political will and moral obligation. Logically, these new media environments are accessible for all to fulfill existing accessibility legislation in most world regions. This piece of legislation adopted a user-centric approach, which is at the heart of Human Rights towards minorities' full democratic participation in society – which in the 21st century depends on access to media. There is no denying the central role of user needs, requirements, and expectations in the testing stages and system definition. Still, one of the lessons learned from previous end-user tests on accessibility services in immersive environments is user skills in VR technology.

A mixed-method design should be adopted, combining qualitative and quantitative approaches followed by triangulating the results to overcome the potential limitations of the applied testing methods. The nature of the medium and the high impact of technology makes it fundamental to take a multidisciplinary approach. A common practice in experimental research on AVT studies is the multidisciplinary approach, fundamental when dealing with the nature of technology's medium and high impact. User-centered research is the most popular methodology for designing system requirements for technological solutions. In an ideal world, any system or process should be designed with accessibility in mind from the onset. This will naturally lead to a born accessible system, avoiding expensive and complex afterthought solutions. Previous experiments involving 360º immersive video also followed a user-centric design but were flawed as the degree of expertise was not considered as a dependent variable. This is a commonality in the conclusions of all these previous studies.

This presentation will focus on constructing a prototyping framework for immersive captioning. With the development of different VR content genres and personal preferences, other captions needs have arisen. Using a prototyping framework that allows for fast visualization and testing is the way to design new caption designs. Recent research on user requirements for captioning in immersive environments has shown a need for improvement and a wealth of research opportunities. The final aim is to identify how to display captions for an optimal viewing experience by enabling existing methods to be contrasted and compared. We also discuss how user behavior can be evaluated by extending the framework to new techniques such as eye-tracking.

This Presentation Link (PDF) is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of April 1, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Disability Specific
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Extended reality is reinventing our approach to work, learning, culture, and social interaction. Nevertheless, the integration of accessible services within immersive environments is still in progress. This presentation will introduce new prototyping for immersive captioning and discuss how to achieve an optimal and fully inclusive viewing experience.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Captions & Transcription
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Video & Live Streaming
  • Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), & Cross/Mixed Reality (XR)


  • Marta Brescia-Zapata
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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