We are currently developing a new software technology – the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX) – allowing sighted video viewers to verbally describe what they see in a movie, and seamlessly share those description clips and their synchronization information over the Internet, thus increasing widespread accessibility of video for blind and visually-impaired viewers. The DVX platform is a Client/Server model that stores all the description clips, the synchronization information, and the unique identifiers for the original video content on a dedicated server. The DVX client is a software video player that plays videos and automatically synchronizes the description clips to the video as it plays from its original source. The DVX client is also used to record the descriptive clips and automatically uploads them to the DVX server.
This innovative technology will permit wiki-style crowd-sourcing of video description in a completely new way, opening the door to amateur description provided for any video content, and distributed to anyone, anywhere. This is all possible without modifying or redistributing the original video in any way.
Based on this technology, the Miele Lab at Smith-Kettlewell is conducting a program of rigorous research to evaluate 1) the effectiveness of DVX for the recording and distribution of amateur audio description, 2) the effectiveness of automated digital tools for enhancing the presentation of amateur audio description, and 3) the effectiveness of using social networks and online communities for the recruitment and training of volunteer audio describers.