At CES, iBiquity Digital received a Stevie Wonder and Friends Vision Free Product Award. Four other organizations that utilize HD Radio technology in their products or services also received awards. Presented by Stevie Wonder, Sendero Group, and the National Federation of the Blind, the ceremony paid tribute to those companies working to make technology accessible to all users, with an acknowledgement of their "vision free" products.
Awards to companies using HD Radio technology:
– iBiquity Digital Corporation for their support of accessible digital radio technology
– National Public Radio for their accessible digital radio broadcast services initiative
– International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS) for their work with accessible digital radio reading services
– DICE Electronics for making the first accessible digital radio reading service receiver
– NDS for the conditional access technology that supports the copyright exemption for reading service content
Many HD Radio broadcasting advances into accessible radio offerings center on its ability to provide data services as well as conditional access services. One example is Radio Reading Services, which are special HD Radio multicast channels that provide information from hundreds of newspapers and magazines in a similar format to audio books. They will also feature voice prompts and audio cues to simplify the new technology for the visually impaired. Another new initiative is Braille Radio, which offers a new experience to those who cannot see or hear by first using speech-to-text software and then parlaying the data into Braille via an add-on electronic device that uses rows of pins moving up and down to create Braille characters.