Products9th January 2014

New Subtitled Emergency Warning System

New emergency alerting system aimed at Deaf & Hard of Hearing people shown at CES 2014.

by Sarah Lawrence

CES (The Consumer Electronics Show) 2014 is happening right now in Las Vegas, USA; it's one of the biggest global technology and electronics shows that runs every year. Thousands of products and new technologies are presented and launched at this event but one item in particular has caught the attention of SL First; a new emergency alert system suitable for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people.

In times of emergency, many countries use a radio broadcast system to warn and inform the public about upcoming danger and offer advice on what to do next. This system is obviously not much use for deaf people, so it's good to see someone finally doing something about it.America's National Public Radio (NPR) has been letting people see a new product that allows people to read emergency broadcasts as subtitles on an attached tablet screen.

Emergency Alert System for Deaf People

As an example, this technology would be useful in situations where power has been lost in an area due to flooding or high winds – no electricity means no Wi-Fi at home so it might not be possible to check what’s going on from a normal computer, phone or tablet. This system uses radio waves – the same ones that are normally used for audio emergency broadcasts and that means that one radio mast can cover a huge area; about 40 miles in all directions from the mast so it could reach millions of people. This also means that even if all the mobile phone networks were down – this device would still be able to receive and display emergency information.

The product is still being tested so it’s unlikely to be to in American shops very soon, so who knows when we’ll see it reach our country. They expect it to cost around $100 (£60) when it first goes up for sale but think that could drop when they are selling lots of them. They’ve also said that future versions might be built into standard radios with a screen and could provide the facility of entire radio shows being subtitled. What do you think readers – do you like the idea of subtitled radio?

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Technology / Products

9th January 2014