AKQA’s Melbourne Studio, along with Tennis Australia and Monash University have been awarded the Victorian Premier’s Design Award, best in category for Digital Design thanks to their work Action Audio, that has created a more accesible way to enjoy sports for the visually impaired people. AKQA Melbourne had already picked up a Silver Lion in the Cannes Radio & Audio Lions 2021.
Action Audio is a world-first system for augmenting live sports with sound, designed to give people who are visually impaired the ability to follow games in real-time. This tech solution uses data from a ball monitoring computer vision system to emphasise key moments of play with a 3D sound design system that has been developed with the blind and low vision community.
For many visually impaired sports fans, Action Audio provides the first opportunity to follow the speed and actions of a live game.
Action Audio launched during the finals of the 2021 Australian Open tennis tournament. Action Audio is now available across every match at the Rod Laver Arena via Australian Open live radio and through Google Assistant for the 2022 tournament.
Action Audio sets a new standard in accessibility in sport, and the ubiquity of the ball monitoring computer vision systems at over 80 tennis tournaments worldwide, and other codes such as cricket and football, creates a huge opportunity to open access for millions of visually impaired sports fans. Today Action Audio is used in 111 countries.
To further improve ease of accessibility, listeners can now listen to Action Audio together with the live radio commentary of each game on centre court throughout the tournament through Google Assistant. Using voice commands, visually impaired tennis fans can ask Google to stream the Action Audio live feed, and access information about how Action Audio works to learn more about the experience.
The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards celebrate Victoria’s designers, architects and businesses that display excellence in the use of design.
The Awards provide an opportunity for businesses and the community to better understand the role of design in creating functional, safe and efficient products, services and spaces. They also showcase the depth of design talent in Victoria and the capability and capacity of the Victorian design industry.
“Good design changes our lives for the better. It makes the goods and services we interact with every day more useful for Victorians who need them. Good design ensures our buildings and public spaces are better places to live, work or play in. It influences what we wear, how we get about in the world, the choices we make and so much more,” Victorian Premier, The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP underscores.