Events and live streaming have become intertwined. Event companies are successfully pivoting from in-person expos to virtual gatherings, with productions that go far beyond Zoom calls.
As they grow in both importance and sophistication, one noticeable evolution of online events is the increase in captioning. Event specialists understand that making virtual events ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant is now expected among their offerings. Live streaming is taking on the look and feel of professional broadcasting, and clients are asking virtual event producers for closed captioning early in the planning process.
An Easy and Affordable Path to Captioning
Two solutions from EEG Video are emerging as essential tools to ensure quality closed captioning for virtual events: Falcon Live Streaming Encoder and Lexi Automatic Captioning Service. Together, they form a suite that makes it easy and affordable to include closed captions and ensure online event accessibility for the hearing impaired.
A fully virtual web service hosted on EEG Cloud, Falcon takes the place of traditional hardware caption encoders for direct-to-web live streaming workflows. Event producers can pair Falcon with their choice of EEG’s Lexi or a professional human captioner. The program audio reference is used to generate and return closed captions into the live stream in real-time.
Falcon Live Stream RTMP Caption Encoder
With many virtual events today calling for dozens of cues and ambitious visuals, the ease of inserting Falcon into the live stream has made it a go-to captioning solution for content producers. They also benefit from flexible deployment options, with Falcon’s ability to make live streams accessible on all major platforms including Facebook Live, YouTube Live Events, Wowza, Twitch, LiveStream, VBrick, IBM Watson Media, and more.
Falcon forms an optimal IP-based workflow with EEG’s AI-powered Lexi. With its ability to deliver over 95% accuracy in English, Spanish, and French for many common media types, Lexi is optimal for improving compliance and accessibility on currently uncovered material. More affordable than human captioners, Lexi can be set up to automatically caption content at a moment’s notice. Lexi also provides flexibility with the ability to switch to a human captioner if needed, as well as its easy integration with many other EEG captioning solutions.
Lexi Automatic Captioning Service
Accuracy is an important benchmark of captioning quality. Lexi’s breakthrough Topic Models feature boosts its captioning accuracy even further by enabling it to recognize topics, immerse itself in distinctive vocabulary, and observe context through the absorption of relevant web data unique to each implementation. With Topic Models and its new AI-driven Core Models feature, Lexi performs in real-time with a higher degree of accuracy than previous speech-to-text systems.
With virtual events’ ability to reach a truly global audience, producers can connect with even more people in more places using iCap Translate. A feature of Lexi, this tool translates captions and subtitles to and from eight major languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Danish, and Maori. iCap Translate can work from source captions in any of these languages created by a monolingual expert stenographer, a live Lexi speech-to-text job, or from a previously recorded and embedded caption track.
Falcon, Lexi, and iCap Translate form the comprehensive EEG Cloud suite of captioning solutions. Together, they create a complete set of live streaming-ready cloud captioning services with one-signup access that are easy to use and seamlessly integrated.
ADA Accessibility: A Non-negotiable for Every Event
Together, Falcon and Lexi from EEG have helped virtual event producers and their clients to ensure that their content is ADA accessible for the hearing impaired, without encountering challenging setups or a steep learning curve.
At the same time, virtual events have become a cornerstone of communication for a fast-expanding field of content producers. In addition to trade shows and other expos going online, live streaming virtual events have become strategically important for multiple sectors, including streaming media, government, corporate, and education.
The common thread among these markets is that captioning is a must for ADA compliance, whether audiences are experiencing in-person or online. For many streaming content producers, EEG Falcon has emerged as the captioning fast track for direct-to-web live streaming. In one typical workflow, the video feed is sent through the cloud-hosted Falcon encoder, goes directly to either Lexi or a human provider for captioning, and is then distributed on to the live streaming platforms of choice.
Audiences experience high-accuracy captioning delivered in real-time as a result of this easy process. The complexity and cost of live streaming captioning has been significantly reduced as a result of these refinements, which is a welcome development since the pressure is increasing for virtual events and gatherings to meet ADA requirements for accessibility.
For example, government/municipal managers—city, county, state, and Federal—know now that failing to update accessibility is costly. ADA compliance lawsuits are steadily increasing with 140+ lawsuits filed against municipalities since 2011 for accessibility non-compliance. Legal action on the Federal level in 2018 alone saw 2,258 suits. A $75,000 fine can be levied in these cases for a first infraction and can escalate to $150,000 for additional violations. Coronavirus’ impact on municipal meetings and their rapid adoption of live streaming video has made ADA compliance all the more urgent.
Captioning e-Learning Live Streams
When using video formats to engage audiences, quality closed captioning is essential to ensure accessibility for the hearing impaired. And there’s no wonder that wide audiences want to participate, since video is an increasingly integral component of education.
According to recent studies, the emergence of e-learning as a safe alternative for continuing education is coming on fast. The size of the global e-learning market could reach $336.98 billion by 2026, and the U.S. alone could account for $6.22 billion by 2022. Online recruiting events and live streaming classes are everywhere. Educators are incorporating learning experience platforms and learning management systems into their plans, many of them leveraging AI.
Video, with its power to engage and integrate myriad content formats, has become the preferred e-learning medium and is now vital to online education. However, applying the deep capabilities of video also comes with the responsibility to present it in compliance with ADA standards for accessibility.
Making video accessible to students who are hearing impaired requires closed captioning. Online education is expanding, and e-learning providers must caption fast-growing assets including live streaming classes, recorded lessons, lectures and workshops that are post produced, and more.
Easy and cost-effective captioning is key to scaling streaming video production of all kinds. Solutions like EEG’s Falcon, Lexi, and iCap Translate help live streaming events to keep growing their reach.
When you see closed captions on television or the web, chances are EEGc Video technology is behind the scenes. Our industry-leading line of software and encoding equipment powers transcription applications in streaming media, broadcasting, post-production, and more. Visit eegent.com to discover our range of automated and human-powered solutions.