Accessibility in 360-degree video players

by   Chris Hughes, et al.

Any media experience must be fully inclusive and accessible to all users regardless of their ability. With the current trend towards immersive experiences, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and 360-degree video, it becomes key that these environments are adapted to be fully accessible. However, until recently the focus has been mostly on adapting the existing techniques to fit immersive displays, rather than considering new approaches for accessibility designed specifically for these increasingly relevant media experiences. This paper surveys a wide range of 360-degree video players and examines the features they include for dealing with accessibility, such as Subtitles, Audio Description, Sign Language, User Interfaces, and other interaction features, like voice control and support for multi-screen scenarios. These features have been chosen based on guidelines from standardization contributions, like in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the International Communication Union (ITU), and from research contributions for making 360-degree video consumption experiences accessible. The in-depth analysis has been part of a research effort towards the development of a fully inclusive and accessible 360-degree video player. The paper concludes by discussing how the newly developed player has gone above and beyond the existing solutions and guidelines, by providing accessibility features that meet the expectations for a widely used immersive medium, like 360-degree video.



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