Captions — They’re Not Just for the Deaf Anymore

Access Excellence: CAPTIONS– THEY’RE NOT JUST FOR THE DEAF ANYMORE. Steven Knoerr has a reprint of a post that he originally posted on February 15th 2005 on the importance of closed captioning technology and I have to add my endorsement again to this effort.

There are going to be amazing things done with television in the next 5 to 10 years. One of the most significant advancements in the upcoming years will be the ability to search for television and video with text.

At present our search capabilities with regards to television are quite limited. We basically can search program titles and program descriptions as provided by a broadcaster. For most people this means using a little remote (less than ideal) to navigate text letters to search on their cable, satellite, TiVo or Media Center — it’s a limited experience but helpful. For the cutting edge early adopter types we are using tools like MSN TV’s Remote Record to get a slight personal programming advantage.

With the adoption of more and more Media Center PCs and the tools that come with them (keyboards to search, MSN Remote Record, etc.) we will begin more and more to program our television in more and more sophisticated ways. The customization will be exciting. But we will need access to closed captioned search capabilities to most fully realize the search potential that is the future of television. This will become even more important as we are flooded with more and more long tail micro content via our home entertainment devices through internet television, etc.

Closed captioning is intregal to tomorrow’s comprehensive smart searches for television content. News junkies and political types will especially eat it up. The question is, who will bring this new search technology to our living rooms? While Chicago Captioning, Steven Knoerr’s company is doing a lot of the captioning work, who will take this really useful stuff and deliver it to our living rooms?