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FCC Talks Up Comcast X1 Talking Guide

Comcast's X1 talking guide was among the innovators being honored by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in the fourth annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility.

Winners were chosen in seven categories, Augmented Reality, CAPTCHA Alternatives, Internet of Things, Real-Time Text, Teleconferencing, Video Description and Miscellaneous, and were being honored at a ceremony Monday in Arlington, Va.

Comcast won in the video description category. "With this tool, viewers without sight can easily find, select, record and watch anything on their channel lineup," said the FCC in announcing the awards.

AT&T Video Meetings With BlueJeans on for teleconferencing, while Google won for best CAPTCHA alternative. CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, are those wavy, sometimes tough to discern letters that must be correctly typed so computers know they are dealing with humans. That alternative does not require typing characters in a log-in box. Instead, security is provided by a "risk analysis of the user’s web behavior."

Other winners included Blind Square for augmented reality, which helps the blind navigate routes and find points of interest; Convo Lights for the Internet of things for customized visual incoming call notifications; Beam Messengers for a new app for real-time text; and OpenAir from Knowability in the miscellaneous category for its competition encouraging web accessibility.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.