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Comcast’s ‘Talking Guide’ Goes Live

Comcast used Twitter to announce that a new “Talking Guide” for its X1 platform for customers who are blind or visually impaired has gone live.

Tom Wlodkowski, Comcast’s VP of accessibility, who is blind and played a key role in the development of the feature, blogged about the launch and posted a video that shows the talking guide in action.

“Starting in a few weeks, customers will be able to hear channel names and numbers, time slots and program details read aloud,” he wrote. “Things that many people take for granted like programming your DVR or choosing what movie to rent will be easier than ever for people with a vision or reading disability.”

Customers can activate the talking guide by tapping the “A” button twice on their remote control or by turning it on via the X1 guide’s “accessibility settings” menu.

Comcast detailed the effort last month, explaining how the talking guide uses the X1’scloud-based platform to read aloud channel names, show titles, VOD settings and DVR commands.

Comcast said at the time that future versions of the X1 talking guide will add search functionality and additional personalization settings that, for example, will allow the customer to determine the rate of speech.

Comcast has deployed more than 5 million X1 boxes so far but hasn’t announced how many of its customers are on the platform.