COD

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    The Premier AT Conference

Accessible 360º Immersive Video Storytelling

Description
Consuming 360º immersive video content through a head-mounted display (HMD) these days is beyond a novelty. It is used to distract children while being vaccinated, a device for learning or training skills, therapy for mental health issues, or leisure. As with any media content, 360º video must be accessible through accessibility services: captions and subtitles, audio description, sign language, or audio captions or audio subtitles. Accessing the media content while wearing an HMD requires navigation through the menu. This menu must be accessible and show the choice of accessibility services to be activated. How to interact with the menu also requires to be accessible. Finally, the content itself has to be enriched through accessibility services. Previous research looked at the technical requirements to make 360 immersive video content accessible. Some caption/subtitles visualization renderings were studied. For audio description, 360º sound delivery offered different audio description styles, and sign language in 360º video raised many issues. For all accessibility services, an editor and an accessible media player were developed to allow for a “born accessible” media production approach. The next stage is to understand how accessibility services can be created for storytelling in 360º immersive media content. This is the goal of the Media Verse EU-funded project (https://mediaverse-project.eu). Aimed at understanding how to consume and how to interact and produce media storytelling content in immersive HMD, a prototype was created. This presentation will summarise the findings from the effort to make a three-minute immersive video narrative fully accessible. While efforts are made towards simultaneous development of accessibility at the design and production stages, technology continues to be a driving force developed independently from accessibility specifications. Once the technology is mature, tweaking all the components to allow for seamless integration of accessibility is not straightforward. This is the case for digital immersive media storytelling. The number of elements that need to be aligned towards a full access experience is complex but must be studied with end-users to understand the full range of solutions. It is acknowledged and appreciated that the EU is prepared to fund the research and media partners – including developers and platform designers – who are ready to look at specific user needs to stimulate research, knowledge, and understanding of how to adapt existing tools towards accessibility. The findings from this research, along with the existing knowledge and understanding, will go a long way in establishing some of the basic principles of making digital storytelling an enjoyable experience for all, especially for people with sight loss.  
Audience
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Disability Specific
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Intermediate  
Session Summary (Abstract)
360º video needs to be accessible. The main goal of the EU2020 project MediaVerse is to create a prototype to understand how to produce, interact and consume media content in immersive HMD. This presentation will summarise the findings from making a three-minute immersive video narrative fully accessible.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Captions & Transcription
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), & Cross/Mixed Reality (XR)

Presenter

  • Andrew Duchowski
    Clemson University

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