Australian Open turns to tech to support blind and low-vision tennis fans

Visitors to this year’s Australian Open who are blind or have low vision are benefiting from Action Audio technology that turns spatial data from live sports into sound.

The Grand Slam tournament is making tennis more accessible to blind and low vision audiences thanks to its partnership with Action Audio, a collaboration between Tennis Australia, Monash University and AKQA.

Action Audio turns real time ball monitoring technology from the Australian Open into 3D sound, emphasising ball speed and trajectory, proximity to line and shot type. It augments critical moments to allow audiences to follow the game without seeing the ball.

Available via the Australian Open website, the Action Audio stream contains Action Audio overlaid onto the broadcast commentary and on-court sounds.

With the Australian Open underway and positive feedback from blind and low vision tennis fans, Action Audio hopes other tennis tournaments will take on the technology as well as sports such as cricket and football that also use real time ball monitoring technology.

Samples of the Action Audio feed are accessible on the Action Audio website.

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