White Paper: Recommendations for Immersive Accessibility Services

The EU H2020 ImAc project has been pioneering in addressing the accessibility requirements for immersive media environments, with a particular focus on VR360 video and spatial audio. Beyond adopting a user-centric methodology, a key premise in ImAc has been to maximize backward-compliance with traditional resources and services, and this requires an in-depth analysis of existing standards to identify to what extend they are able of meeting the derived accessibility requirements, and to explore their potential extension to overcome the existing gaps. The ImAc project consortium has devoted major efforts in this direction, and the outcome has been a modular end-to-end platform that allows a seamless integration of access service with immersive content, in an interactive and hyper-personalized manner. The ImAc platform, in turn, can be deployed within existing broadcasters’ premises, augmenting thus classical services based on 2D audiovisual media.

As a result of the research done and on the lessons learned, the ImAc consortium has prepared a White Paper on Recommendations for Immersive Accessibility Services. The paper firstly provides an overview of the key access service requirements considered in the project. Then, it analyzes to what extent state-of-the-art delivery and signaling standards, as well as media formats, can meet these targeted requirements, and describes the proposed solutions by ImAc to overcome the identified limitations. Example implementations for each access service features are provided as well. Overall, the paper is intended to serve as a valuable information source for early adopters who plan to provide accessibility services to their portfolio with standard-compliant solutions, and for the research community to move forward in this fascinating area. The paper has been submitted to ArXiv. Enjoy reading!

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