Press release

Technoleads stands out with its new team of audio description writers

December 19th, 2019 – Montreal, Canada

Technoleads Services Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of three talented writers to their team. Since joining the team, Rachel, Caroline, and Alexander have contributed accurate and engaging scripts for elokutio™ audio description. Their productions have already earned the trust of clients such as Bell Media.

 

Also known as video description, audio description (AD) is a form of narration that describes key visual elements to aid the blind and visually impaired in enjoying multimedia content including film, documentaries and television series. Under the elokutio™ brand, Technoleads provides next generation AD services that achieve unprecedented quality, speed and savings.

 

“Over the last four months, we have grown into an efficient and reliable service provider ,” says Stéphane É. Brisebois, President of Technoleads. “With the support of the dynamic team at PME MTL Centre-Est, we have been able to attract exceptional talent, and thanks to Bell Media entrusting us with several projects this autumn, we had the opportunity to refine our editorial standards and hone our production process. We’re thrilled with our client feedback, which has all been positive.”

 

Bell Media is already impressed by Technoleads services. “Elokutio video description is very high quality and ready to broadcast without corrections. We’re impressed by the quality of the digital voices, the quick turnaround, and high-quality scripts that meet all our requirements . We can publish them without delays . Technoleads offers good services at very competitive prices. They are a reliable service provider and we’re impressed by the speed and quality of their work,” says Mariève Tremblay, Director of Operations, Administration and Equipment, Bell Media.

 

The quality of Elokutio’s audio descriptions rests foremost on clear scripts that lead to rich storytelling, which respect the original work. Furthermore, while the innovative platform used to write the AD texts lead to efficiencies, its key benefit is to enable writers to devote most of their time to the creative aspects of their work.

 

Alexander brings his experience from CRIM, the applied research center that developed the platform. Over the past two years, he has produced English-language AD for the National Film Board and BAnQ, for whom preserving the artistic intent of the production is essential. In addition to writing AD, he is also pursuing doctoral studies in Montreal.

 

Caroline, who recently submitted her master’s thesis in literary studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal, comes with five years of professional writing under her belt. Rachel holds a BA in French literature from the University of Ottawa and is now pursuing a MA in Film Studies at the University of Montréal.

 

These three new writers share excellent editorial skills and a determination to always find the right word. With backgrounds in Quebec, France, and the US, they bring complementary views to elokutio’s scripts, ensuring ADs that are properly tuned to the target distribution and broadcasting markets.

 

Their addition to the team positions Technoleads to exceed market requirements by offering a rich and immersive listening experience to audiences living with a visual impairment.

 

About Technoleads Services, Inc.

Technoleads is a Canadian company established in 2005. Today they offer services that facilitate the media production chain. They leverage leading technology to foster creativity and stand out in the market.

 

Information

medias@elokutio.com

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Crédit photo: Myriam Baril-Tessier

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CRIM Audio Description Technology: Technoleads takes the reigns

December 10th, 2019 – Montreal, Canada

Technoleads Services, Inc., an innovative media services provider, announces that they have completed the process to independently operate the audio description technology developed by CRIM. Following five years of research and development, this innovative platform is now used under license by Technoleads for AD production. The service, available in English and French since June 2018 under the elokutio™ brand. Until recently, elokutio™ audio descriptions were produced in collaboration with CRIM.

 

Technoleads began the transfer of technology from CRIM in February 2019, starting with a series of jointly-produced audio description projects. In the second phase of the transfer, CRIM gradually transferred their software solutions and technical know-how to the Technoleads team.

“Our research centre’s mission is to support the private and public sector by providing them with expertise to solve complex technical issues,” says Françoys Labonté, executive Director of CRIM. “This transfer is the culmination of major initiatives by CRIM in the digital accessibility sector. We are proud to see Technoleads putting the fruit of our research on the market and contributing to even greater digital accessibility.”

 

Also known as videodescription, audio description (AD) is a form of narration that describes key visual elements to aid the blind and visually impaired in enjoying multimedia content including film, documentaries and television series.

 

The AD platform used commercially by Technoleads was developed, tested and perfected by CRIM in the course of numerous R&D and innovation projects involving several key players from the Canadian media industry, universities, research centres, and interest groups, including the Nazareth and Louis-Braille Institute, which supports vision-impaired people in Quebec and across Canada. CRIM produced more than 200 audio description projects in collaboration with public institutions including Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and the National Film Board (NFB).

 

“We’re gaining not just advanced technology, but also proven working methods. This combination of skills and technology ensures our competitiveness in the sector,” says Stéphane É. Brisebois, President of Technoleads Services, Inc. “Furthermore, we have adapted the offer to perfectly meet the specific needs of production studios, distributors and major broadcasters,” he adds.

 

Thanks to this technology from CRIM, Technoleads stands out in the post-production audio market by offering a next-generation AD services that achieve quality, speed and savings like no one else.

 

To start with, elokutio’s AD scripts are written using the platform developed by CRIM, which uses sophisticated algorithms. Writers use an editing template and specialized editing tools that let them focus on the creative process. From these scripts, Technoleads produces audio tracks using either professional voice actors or digital voices.

 

By offering high-quality AD services that are both innovative and affordable, Technoleads provides their clients with a new option for meeting the growing demand for audio described content. In this sense, elokutio™ directly contributes to greater digital accessibility.

 

About Technoleads Services, Inc.

Technoleads is a Canadian company established in 2005. Today they offer services that facilitate the media production chain. They leverage leading technology to foster creativity and stand out in the market.

 

About the Computer Research Institute of Montreal (CRIM)

CRIM is an applied research and expertise centre in information technology, dedicated to making organizations more effective and competitive through the development of innovative technology and the transfer of leading-edge know-how, while contributing to scientific advancement. CRIM is a non-profit organization whose neutrality and strong network make it an indispensable resource. Its work is in line with the policies and strategies of its major financial partner, the ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation.

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Technoleads announces choice of Acapela Group for elokutio™ digital audio description services

 

December 3, 2019 – Montreal, Canada 

 

Technoleads Services, Inc., an innovative media services provider, announces their agreement with Acapela Group. This milestone positions Technoleads to move forward with the commercialisation plan of the audio description service elokutio™, available in English and French.

Also known as videodescription, audio description (AD) is a form of narration that describes key visual elements that aides the blind and visually impaired in enjoying multimedia content including film, documentaries and television series. In June 2018, Technoleads introduced elokutio™, a next-generation AD service.

 

Compared to traditional AD production, elokutio takes advantage of the latest technology to achieve quality, speed, and savings like never before.

 

To start with, elokutio’s AD scripts are written using a platform developed by a leading applied research institute, leveraging sophisticated and proven algorithms. This AD production software provides a template and editing tools that let the writers focus on the creative aspect of their work. Using these scripts, Technoleads produces audio tracks thanks to either optimized voice recording or leading-edge digital voices.

 

Fast and affordable, elokutio™|digital AD tracks, featuring Acapela voices, are prepared in minutes rather than days while maintaining the highest quality standards. Technoleads clients, including major broadcasters and production studios, can now choose the elokutio AD service that best fits their schedule and budget.

 

 “Acapela’s digital voices allow us to ensure a quick turnaround of high-quality audio description”, says Stéphane É. Brisebois, President of Technoleads. “In choosing Acapela, with their catalogue of 30 languages, we ensure that we have the resources to expand internationally”, he adds.

 

 “We’re very happy about this collaboration with Technoleads, with whom we share a commitment to the visually impaired community. At Acapela Group we strive to give a voice to everyone, whatever their disability, to help them live better through technology. Audio description is a fertile ground for digital voices”, stresses Nicolas Mazars, Business Unit Manager of Acapela Inclusive, a division dedicated to accessibility.

 

Audio description is a promising market segment. In Canada, the CRTC1 has imposed AD targets for major broadcasters. These came into force last September and will grow annually for five years. This year the European Union passed inclusion policies2 which will have a similar effect in the near future. Over-the-Top streaming services have also put in place digital inclusion initiatives.

 

As a more efficient and affordable AD service, elokutio™|digital helps democratize audio-visual material by making it more accessible to people with visual impairments.

 

About Technoleads Services, Inc.

Technoleads is a Canadian company established in 2005. Today they offer services that facilitate the media production chain. They apply leading technology to innovate and stand out in the market.

 

About Acapela Group

Acapela is the European leader of voice solutions with thirty years of expertise and market feedback, strong partnerships, deep rooted R&D, an enthusiastic team and a strong appetite for innovation. Your voice matters. And Acapela cares about it. The company aims to create voices that sound different: custom voices, children's voices, voice banking with my-own-voice. Voices adapted to the needs and context of application, based on promising results on Acapela DNN. Acapela invents voice solutions to inform, navigate, provide access to information, enable communication, to express thoughts and desires, participate in social conversation, preserve personal voice identity, and much more.

 

Information

medias@elokutio.com

press@acapela-group.com

Notes & references :

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

 

Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the accessibility requirements for products and services

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CRIM and elokutio join forces to make audio visual content accessible to all!

 

February 28th,  2019 – Montreal, Canada

CRIM is pleased to announce the pursuit of its partnership with Technoleads Services Inc. for the commercialization of its described video technology.

Described Video (DV or audio description) is an audio recording that describes the actions within audiovisual content (film, TV series, etc.) to make it more easily accessible to the visually impaired or blind. To this day, described videos are mostly produced using basic tools, both to generate the script and for the audio track recording. Such processes are long and costly.

The VDManager software, developed by CRIM, combines several audiovisual content analysis methods related to artificial intelligence in order to facilitate the work of described video writers, thus greatly reducing the time required to produce the script. To create the DV audio track, one can then hire professional narrators or simply leverage the synthesized voice and post-production technologies imbedded within VDManager to generate an audio track automatically.

CRIM's described video technology has been commercially available on the local and international scene since June 2018 under the elokutio™ label operated by Technoleads.

Summary

  • CRIM's VDManager software aims to partially automate described video production, with the aim to increase the quantity of works available while reducing costs and delays for content producers and distributors.

  • The agreement with Technoleads concerns the use of CRIM's described video production technology, which facilitates the insertion of the audio track in the silences between dialogues in films or TV series without interrupting playback.

  • elokutio™ provides its services to broadcasters, over the top (OTT) media providers and media producers worldwide.

 

This partnership allows CRIM and Technoleads to address the needs of the audiovisual creative industry by offering a faster and more affordable alternative for the production of universally accessible content. It also fosters social innovation by contributing to the digital inclusion of people with visual disabilities.

Using technology for social innovation: part of CRIM's DNA from day one!

CRIM has been working in the field of digital accessibility and E-inclusion for almost 20 years. Today, the importance of this societal issue is being recognized at the Canadian and international levels. For instance, Netflix now offers video description for most of its original series, some of which feature synthetic voice*. These recent developments signal a bright future for CRIM's technology, which allows a 30-50% reduction of the time required to produce a videodescription**.

*https://doubletap.online/netflix-launch-synthesised-audio-description

Gagnon, L., Chapdelaine, C., Byrns, D., Foucher, S., Héritier, M. and Gupta, V. "Computer-

**Vision-Assisted System for Videodescription Scripting" In 3rd workshop Computer Vision Application for Visually-Impaired (CVAVI 10) - A Satellite Workshop of IEEE CVPR 2010. San Francisco, CA, USA, June 13-18, 2010.

Related links

About CRIM

CRIM is an applied research and expertise centre in information technology, dedicated to making organizations more effective and competitive through the development of innovative technology and the transfer of leading edge know-how, while contributing to scientific advancement.

 

It helps organizations, primarily SMBs, demystify and gain access to leading-edge technology, such as artificial intelligence, to efficiently address the technological challenges they face. Its IT researchers and professionals develop a wide array of applications in diverse areas and work in such fields of expertise as machine learning, computer vision, speech recognition, automatic natural language processing, data science and operational research.

 

CRIM is a non-profit organization whose neutrality and strong network make it an indispensable resource. Its work is in line with the policies and strategies of its major financial partner, the ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation.

Information: 

Antonia Leney-Granger, Communications Agent CRIM – Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal  medias@crim.ca | www.crim.ca | Tel. : 514 840-1234

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Technoleads Services launches elokutio™– The most advanced audio description service available today

June 13th,  2018 – Montreal, Canada

Technoleads Services Inc. (technoleads.com), an innovative solution provider for the media industry, has officially launched elokutio™, a next-generation audio description service.

 

Also referred to as described video, an audio description (AD) is a narration of key visual elements that improves the multimedia experience for the blind and visually impaired.  Compared with traditional AD production processes, elokutio leverages innovative tools and proven technologies to achieve an unprecedented combination of quality, speed and affordability.

 

elokutio is based on a leading-edge AD technology licensed by CRIM, which is the result of a 5 year E-inclusion research project that involved several key Canadian industry players, universities, research centres and interest groups. CRIM’s state-of-the-art AD solution has been developed and fine-tuned through some 200 AD projects carried out in collaboration with public organizations such as the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ).

 

Over the last year, Technoleads streamlined and adapted CRIM’s technology to answer the specific needs of media producers, distributors and broadcasters.

 

“The very first elokutio described video that we have produced is a top-Tier documentary for the benefit of leading broadcasters.” said Stéphane É. Brisebois, President of Technoleads Services Inc., “This is a testament to the quality and performance of elokutio; we cannot wait for this episode to air in the UK and Canada in the Fall of 2018!”, he further said.

 

To achieve unparalleled speed and quality, elokutio uses the most advanced AD script-writing tool, which was developed by CRIM using artificial intelligence. Optimization is achieved through sophisticated, yet proven methods and algorithms, which include speech/non-speech detection and synthetic voice. Thanks to the assistance and the context that these AI-based features provide, elokutio AD writers can focus on the creative aspects of their work.

 

To generate the AD audio output, elokutio also combines the industry’s most ingenious approaches. It has secured the exclusive use of a patented software that allows to fast-track the recording process while maintaining the quality of its AD. The professional and experienced narrators who collaborate with elokutio strongly appreciate this novel approach to AD recording, as they stay within character and are less tired at the end of a session.

 

For situations that call for swift or very affordable results, the option of next-generation synthetic voice is offered. Combined with in-house tools and efficient processes, elokutio is able to release a fully balanced and mixed audio track in minutes instead of days.

 

With growing regulatory pressures and the proliferation of E-inclusion initiatives worldwide, the demand for audio description is bound to grow rapidly. elokuto is a fresh solution for the numerous media producers, distributors and broadcasters who will need to tackle these challenges.  As a method much more efficient and affordable than manual audio description processes, elokutio will contribute to the democratization of AD, allowing a greater proportion of media content to become available quickly to people with visual disabilities.

 

About Technoleads

Technoleads Services Inc. is a Canada corporation established in 2005 to provide consulting services. It has become a service provider that supports media production lines.  It uses leading-edge technologies to innovate and differentiate itself in the market.

About the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM)

CRIM (www.crim.ca) is an applied research and expertise centre in information technology, dedicated to making organizations more effective and competitive through the development of innovative technology and the transfer of leading edge know-how, while contributing to scientific advancement. CRIM is a non-profit organization whose neutrality and strong network make it an indispensable resource. CRIM holds ISO 9001:2015 certification. Its work is in line with the policies and strategies of the Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation (MESI), its major financial partner.

For further information

medias@elokutio.com

medias@crim.ca