a new application to bring live Audio Description and real time information to a large audience

For persons with vision impairment to join a cultural activity such as a cinema movie, a theatre play or an presentation is equally important and beneficial than or anyone else. If we take the example of an theatre play, the dialogues and acoustical effects are of no problem for a blind or visually impaired audience, yet, the full experience can be reached only but the rich secondary information about the stage setup, the characteristic of the actors and the information of atmosphere and lightning of the play. Persons who cannot see or have not the full access to this information lose a big part of the compilation.
To make those information accessible to the whole audience, Audio Descriptions of those visual aspects are supposed to be provided. Unfortunately in many cases the problem occurs how to provide the descriptions to the target group without influencing the experience of the rest of the audience.

Speekie is solving the difficulties facing to bring Audio Description during live events to the audience

  • Cheap solution on providing Audio description
    Speekie is free of charge for the audience, only for the service provider it will be necessary to purchase the function once. No further following costs are needed. For transmission and connection the existing wifi infrastructure can be used. That makes it the most inexpensive solution existing.
  • Easy and quick installation
    The only equipment needed is a iPhone, iPad or iPod, the Speekie application installed and it`s ready for transmitting.
  • Individual settings on Volume and Earpieces
    The use of personal devices like smartphones gives the user the possibility to set individual parameters and use his own, for him comfortable, head- or earphones.
  • Scalability and user limitation
    With Speekie there is theoretically no limitation in connected clients. As it is not required by the service provider to offer receivers, anyone with a iOS device can simply download the application and connect to the service.

Speekie was developed by experts in the field of audio description and the communication to the blind.

The transmission can be started by any iOS device using the inbuilt microphone or a connected external audio source.

The user can connect to a transmission out of the list of available services.

Following a transmission is free for everyone. Offering a service for more than the test period of 5min will cost a onetime fee of 1,99€.

Where and what  Speekie can be used for ?

Speekie is an application primarily designed to distribute accessibility features. But by the time we developed it, many more use cases appeared to us. Speekie is a good example how accessibility and daily required applications can go hand in hand and reduce the average cost.

Audio Description at screenings and live events

Distribution of Audio Description is the heart of Speekie. Using standard technology to provide cheaply and effective accessibility at any occasion was pushing us to the development.
Use Speekie application on your iOS device, download the application, start a transmission and provide to your audience the accessibility feature right away. For more complex installations, Speekie allows quickly to be connected to any sound source.

Live commentary at acoustically sensible sports games such as Blind Futsal or Goalball.

In most blindfolded sports games such as Goalball or Futsal it is crucial for the spectators to keep quiet as the sportsman use their hearing to get oriented. This makes a commentary of a game impossible and reduces the excitement.  
Speekie allows to distribute commentary to the audience without disturbing and irritating the sportsman. In depth information and opinions on game movements can be provided without giving an advantage to one of the teams.
The use of expensive hardware is no longer required and any sports event can provide commentary services without being a bargain on the budget.

Real time audio translations during speeches and conferences

On conferences and speeches it happens, that the presenter is not always of the same origin then the audience. Inviting experts from all the globe is one of the main advantages of the time we are living in.
Usually conference organisers will have to provide real time translations over special devices which are to be lend by the audience at the start of the presentation and returned after. This is not only a logistical but also economical challenge. Speekie allows the audience to connect to a translation service by using their own devices without requiring any involvement of conference staff. This decreases costs on not only provision of the devices but also gives conference staff the possibility to be engaged on different tasks.

How Speekie works ?

Step 1: Download the application

The Speekie transmitter as well as the Speekie receiver are available for Apple iOS devices at the time. We are planning to offer a Android solution at a later time.
At the Apple App Store search and download the free Speekie application. This application contains both parts, the transmitter as well as the receiver.
If you are interested in offering a transmission service for Audio description, live comentary or real time translations, after a testing period, you may want to purchase the unlimited transmission feature.
Speekie is free of charge as receiver. The transmission feature is available for 5min without interruption. After the 5min of evaluation, you will have to restart the transmission service or purchase the unlimited transmission feature for 1,99€.

Step 2: Setup a network

Speekie uses a standard wireless network for communication between transmitter and receiver. Any wireless Network your device supports, can be used to establish the communication. The required bandwidth is limited and a properly setup and working home network can serve up 25 clients without limitations. As any wireless network depending application, interferences, and distortions will limit the range as well as capacity of the service.
We recommend therefore a well maintained QoS setup and dependant on estimated amount of users, to rely on professional wireless access points. We further suggest, to consider offering both network ranges, in the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz Bandwidth.
Please consider, older client devices may be less reliable connected then up-to-date models. Ideally, the transmitter is connected with a cable connection.

Step 3: Connect your users

The connection of a Speekie receiver to a transmission service is very simple and can be dealt by each user individually. It is important that both, the transmitter and receiver are connected to the same wireless network. Make sure that there is no blocking firewall or routing in between the both components.
Once both, receiver and transmitter are connected to the same network and the transmitter is started with a useful naming, the user will find the transmission service with the given name in the list of services. By activating the entry, the client will be connected to the transmitter and start playing the broadcast. Changing among multiple transmissions is as simple as activating a different entry.

Speekie troubleshooting

We are working on this chapter and collecting more information in larger installations. For the time being, we have not encountered any problems what could not followed back to a incorrectly set wireless network.
Please, should you encounter any problems or would like to share some special needs, do not hesitate and write us an email. We are happy to help you in your setup.