Digital TV Software Provides Talking Menus for the Visually Impaired, Deaf and Elderly

Bristol/Hong Kong-based Ocean Blue Software, a specialist digital TV software house, has developed "talking" digital TV technology for set top boxes and televisions that could potentially benefit millions of people who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, severely dyslexic, and elderly.

Talking Menus for the Visually Impaired, Deaf and ElderlyThe technology, produced in conjunction with The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and other digital technology companies, works by converting on-screen based text menus into speech output. Consumers will be able control how the audio information is spoken to them, and have the ability to change the level of speech and the language through a customizable interface.

Developers are optimistic that the new technology will improve the quality of life of 8 million individuals living with disabilities in the UK, and even more around the world.

Ocean Blue Software also recently produced Nexus TVTM, a digital technology system with health care features that utilizes a television with a set top box and a remote control. The system is capable of providing automatic alerts reminding users which medication to take, and when. Users will also be able to order repeat prescriptions by scanning a barcode with the remote control and then forward it to their pharmacist. Individuals with limited mobility, will be able to shop local stores and markets through the Nexus TVTM network and have items delivered to their home.

"This is about exploiting technology to give the elderly and vulnerable every possible comfort and security where they most want it -- in their own homes," said Ken Helps, CEO of Ocean Blue Software, in a company press release. "At the same time, it addresses one of the greatest challenges for the British economy -- how to finance support for an ageing population."

It will be interesting to see how these technologies fare overseas and if they will eventually be adopted in the US. For more information, please visit