For the second consecutive year, Madrid City Council is bringing the Christmas lights to everyone through the mobile application "Navidad Accesible Madrid", which allows people with visual and intellectual disabilities to enjoy the traditional Christmas lights.
This system has been developed by professors and researchers from the Human Language and Accessibility Technologies Group (HULAT), belonging to the Department of Computer Science at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, whose work focuses on carrying out R+D+i projects related to natural language processing technologies, information retrieval and extraction in different domains, response search systems, usability and accessibility in user interfaces.
The application makes it possible to follow a guided route through the Christmas lights based on a system of audio descriptions, i.e. audios that narrate to people what is being shown in front of them. This application works when the user activates their phone's location system near the lights included in the application. At that moment, the geolocation system is activated and the audio description is played, providing information about the scenes represented by the lighting, the colours, the sensations they transmit and additional information about their creation and designers. In addition, the application allows this information on Madrid's lighting without having to move around by searching through the list of available streets.
In this year's version, the app has increased to 31 points of visit, including emblematic places such as Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía or Plaza de España, recently reopened. As a new feature this year, the application has incorporated the possibility of taking guided tours, an option of four routes with which you can consult the lights of the same environment grouped together to make the walk more comfortable and easier. As last year, there are three formats for audio descriptions. Two of them are designed for adults, with synthetic voice and real voice, and the third is an option for children, with children's narrators and clear and simple language, adapted to them.
"Navidad Accesible Madrid" is free and available on both Android and iOS. It can also be found by searching for "Navidad Accesible" in any of the app shops.