Comcast Launches Eye-Control for the Television

Xfinity X1 Customers With Physical Disabilities Can Now Use Their
Eyes to Change The Channel, Set a Recording or Search for a Show

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Comcast today launched a feature that gives people with physical
disabilities like spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS) the ability to navigate their television using only their eyes.
Xfinity X1 eye control is a web-based remote for tablets and computers
that pairs with an existing eye gaze system and allows viewers to change
the channel, set a recording, search for a show and more, all with a
glance.


In the U.S., more than 48
million
people live with physical or mobility disabilities and every
day about 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s
disease, a disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal
cord. These disabilities can often make seemingly everyday tasks more
difficult.

“Changing the channel on a TV is something most of us take for granted
but until now, it was a near-impossible task for millions of viewers,”
said Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President Accessibility at Comcast. “When you
make a product more inclusive you create a better experience for
everyone and we’re hoping our new X1 feature makes a real difference in
the lives of our customers.”

Philadelphia resident Jimmy Curran has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a
condition that affects the part of the nervous system that controls
muscle movement, and was among the first customers to get the new X1 eye
control technology. You can watch his story here: https://youtu.be/N2Mit1iQ9Qw

X1 eye control is free and uses a web
page remote control
that works seamlessly with existing eye gaze
hardware and software, Sip-and-Puff
switches and other assistive technologies. To make X1 eye control work,
Xfinity customers visit xfin.tv/access
and use their credentials to pair the web-based remote with their
set-top-box. From that point forward, each time the customer gazes at a
button, the web-based remote sends the corresponding command to the
television.

“We are pleased to see how Comcast continues to make their products and
solutions accessible,” said Tara Rudnicki, President North America Tobii
Dynavox, a leading provider of touch and eye tracking assistive
technology hardware and software. “As an assistive technology company,
we want to empower our users to live independent lives. With the X1 eye
control now enabled with eye gaze, it will come to great use for many of
them.”

With X1 eye control, customers can:

  • Change the channel, launch the guide, search for content, set a
    recording and more, without assistance
  • Turn on the X1
    Sports App
    which brings real-time sports scores and statistics
    into the screen right alongside the in-game action
  • Access X1’s Accessibility menu which controls closed captioning, video
    description and voice
    guidance
  • Use their gaze to type out voice commands like “watch NBC” or “action
    movies”

“Comcast knows that TV and media access is a powerful part of life for
most people,” said David Dikter, CEO, Assistive Technology Industry
Association (ATIA). “That X1 can now be used with eye gaze and an array
of other assistive technologies shows a new level of commitment to
access and independence for persons with disabilities. A company that
understands that users have their own specialized technology and works
to bridge these technologies in a way that delivers value, deserves
applause.”

Comcast is committed to making its products, services and programming
more accessible. Over the past few years, the company launched the
industry’s first
talking TV guide
, introduced a voice
remote control
and produced the first
live entertainment program
in U.S. history to be accessible to
people with a visual disability. For the 2016 Rio Olympics, NBC included
video description with every primetime show throughout the Games and
then for the first time ever, extended that feature to the 2018
PyeongChang Paralympics
broadcasts on NBC and NBCSN. Comcast also
has a service center specifically dedicated to customers with
disabilities where agents are specially trained in the company’s
accessibility features and general support issues.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology
company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and
Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video,
high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under
the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It
also provides wireless and security and automation services to
residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global
and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and
Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations,
television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and
Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment
companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content
through its pay television services. It also provides communications
services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless
services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and
entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive
content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com
for more information.

Contacts

Steven Restivo, Comcast
215.286.3507
Steven_Restivo@comcast.com

Jennifer Sala, Comcast
215.286.8403
Jennifer_Sala@comcast.com

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