4 Universal Services In practical use

Supporting Technology for Accessibility Services

Making broadcasting accessible to everyone


STRL is researching information transmission technologies to make broadcasting widely accessible to everyone, including visually impaired, hearing-impaired, elderly, and non-Japanese people. Take a look at some of the technologies that help people to understand content: from sign-language CG to audio description, closed captioning, and translation.

Sign-language CG translation and generation technology

STRL is researching technologies to translate Japanese text into sign language and generate CG animations. Based on Japanese sentences including named entities, information is translated into sign language, which is easy for hearing-impared people to understand, and then a CG animation is created.

Japanese-to-English machine-translation technology

In emergency situations such as natural disasters, special TV news reports are live streamed on the internet with English closed captions as a service for non-Japanese residents and visitors to Japan. The English closed captions are automatically generated from the Japanese closed captions by a Japanese-to-English machine-translation system that has been trained using NHK news reports.

Audio-description production and delivery technology

STRL is developing a system to produce and deliver audio descriptions for live sport broadcasts to help more people, including those with visual impairments, to view TV programs. Explanatory text is generated by image recognition or manual input, converted to audio description by speech synthesis, and delivered to the user’s smartphone. The app also allows users to adjust the speed or amount of information.

[Future plans]

Sign-language CG: CG animations to be generated for some news bulletins by 2025.
Japanese-to-English translation: Translation system to be used by broadcast stations nationwide by 2025.
Audio description: System to be operated by a single operator by 2025.


Sign-language CG

Japanese-to-English translation