powering the VI user to participate
more actively in the conversation.
The same technology may also help
a VI person become aware of how he
or she is perceived by others. A survey
conducted with 25 visually impaired
persons and two sighted specialists15
has highlighted some of the function-alities that would be most desirable
in such a system. These include: understanding whether one’s personal
mannerisms may interfere with social
interactions with others; recognizing
the facial expressions of other interlocutors; and knowing the names of
the people nearby.
Assisted Videoscripting. Due to their
overwhelmingly visual content, movies
are usually considered inaccessible to
blind people. In fact, a VI person may
still enjoy a movie from its soundtrack,
especially in the company of friends
or family. In many cases, though, it is
difficult to correctly interpret ongoing activities in the movie (for example, where the action is taking place,
which characters are currently in the
scene and what they are doing) from
the dialogue alone. In addition, many
relevant nonverbal cues (such as the
facial expression of the actors) are lost.
Videodescription (VD) is a technique
meant to increase accessibility of existing movies to VI persons by adding
a narration of key visual elements,
which is presented to the listener during pauses in the dialogue. Although
the VD industry is fast growing, due to
increasing demand, the VD generation
process is still tedious and time consuming. This process, however, could
be facilitated by the use of semiauto-mated visual recognition techniques,
which have been developed in different contexts (such as surveillance and
video database indexing). An early
example is VDManager, 7 a VD editing
software tool, which uses speech recognition as well as key-places and key-faces visual recognition.
Roberto Manduchi was supported
by the National Science Foundation
under Grants IIS-0835645 and CNS-
0709472. James Coughlan was supported by the National Institutes of
Health under Grants 1 R01 EY018345-
01, 1 R01 EY018890-01 and 1 R01
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Roberto Manduchi ( email@example.com) is an
associate professor in the department of Computer
engineering at university of California, santa Cruz.
James Coughlan ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is senior scientist
at the smith-kettlewell eye research Institute, san