Subtitling solution launched in bid to increase access to hard of hearing

May 07, 2019

A subtitling solution for social media content has been launched in a bid to make subtitling more accessible.
The solution, Sasquatch, has been developed by Screen Systems and powered by Speechmatics – which specialises in machine learning and Automatic Speech Recognition technology (ASR).
Sasquatch aims to reach a larger audience, including those with a hearing impairment, or those who are situationally disadvantaged. The tool was built in mind to enable users to accurately subtitle their content, even if they’ve no prior experience with subtitling.
Ian Firth, VP products at Speechmatics, said: “Subtitling has only ever been possible with high-end, production systems and typically only used for broadcast content. As a business, we’re passionate about making all content accessible, so we’re delighted to be partnered with Screen Systems and integrated into Sasquatch. This partnership is a further affirmation of the quality of our speech engine, and we’re incredibly excited to see the benefits Sasquatch brings both everyday content creators and consumers.”
Once users upload their video content and their subtitles are automatically generated, they’re given percentage scores for text accuracy, readability, coverage and layout. It aims to guide users by showing them the changes that will lead to the biggest improvements, meaning higher quality subtitles, better content, and a happier, more engaged audience.
Users can choose how to present their subtitles, the speed in which they’re presented, and how they’re broken up on the screen. Speechmatics’ speech engine provides the highly accurate speech-to-text capabilities, meaning less intervention and corrections from users is required.
John Birch, strategy and business development manager at Screen Systems, said: “Sasquatch is about the empowerment of the individual. We believe that 100% of media content should be captured – there’s absolutely no reason for it not to be. We know that there’s a very large community who are deaf but we’re also aware that there are people who can hear perfectly well who are situationally disadvantaged, like when they’re browsing social media at work.
“We want to change the way people perceive the process of subtitling.
“We’re not replacing anything, we’ve just created a new way of doing subtitling for social media content and it wouldn’t be possible without Speechmatics’ leading speech-to-text technology.”
Ian Bolland’s full article can be found on Digital Health Age, here