British Rowing’s Jacqui Traynor Shares Her XRAI Glass Experience

We had the pleasure of speaking with Jacqui Traynor, Head of Safeguarding and Integrity for British Rowing, to discuss her experience using XRAI Glass.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jacqui Traynor, Head of Safeguarding and Integrity for British Rowing, to discuss her experience using XRAI Glass.

Would you mind telling us a little about your deafness?

I have been profoundly deaf since I was born, and until 2 years ago wore a hearing aid. I only had functional hearing in one ear, relying on lipreading. Then, when the last of my hearing declined, I got an Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant in December 2021.

How was your experience of using XRAI Glass today?

It was really exciting to see how technology is improving in such a dynamic way. I’ve spent the last ten years being aware of new innovations in the early stages of conception, struggling through the little hearing I had, and saying to my family, better accessible technology is not far off, any day now. Today felt very much like I had arrived at that point, and if I were able to speak to my younger self, I would be able to say you were right – it’s just around the corner, hang in there!

How do you think you’ll use XRAI Glass to assist you in everyday life?

I regularly attend group meetings, and these are the hardest because people are spread out and you can’t always control the layout of the room. XRAI Glass provides a more discreet way of receiving captions, but also identifying who is speaking. I also go to conferences, and to be able to look in the direction of the speakers, rather than down at a separate device, is really exciting.

Jacqui Traynor using XRAI Glass on a pair of augmented reality glasses.

What impressed you most about the technology?

The ability to pin captions to different people and look in the direction of that individual and see their captions, and the fact that XRAI Glass will be able to facilitate numerous users from one microphone source and that I can modify the location, size, and depth of the captions to suit me – which means it’s tailored personally – is super! I think the best feature is having that distinction of captions being able to intelligently recognise it as a different speaker and provide an indication of who the speaker is, is by far the best and most useful feature.

How important is it for you to have accessible technology in your industry?

Immensely important. I have been able to get to where I am today with the support of advancing technology. We have so many people in the UK who are our next leaders, our next generation of great minds, and many are held back from their full potential because they can’t access environments in the same way as everyone else. Accessible technology unleashes greater potential, and we know that diverse individuals and diverse minds encourage further innovation and advances.

I recall my time in lectures and being so far away from the teacher that even with a radio mic, relying on listening alone contributes to hearing fatigue and loss of concentration. When I was shown not only the benefits of real-time captioning, but also the ability for the app to retain a record of what is said, and even provide a summary, I immediately thought this would be an amazing asset for students. It also means I would have been able to ‘scroll back’ and check if I had understood something correctly. Not only this, but when other students ask questions and the lecturer doesn’t repeat the question, or vice versa, this would have provided both sides of the Q&A instead of just one.

What about in the workplace?

There are two sides to this one – the deaf professional in the workplace in formal environments, and the deaf professional in informal environments. There was a time I worked in an office and I didn’t enjoy this – colleagues would converse amongst themselves, sometimes important, sometimes not. I had a choice, I either listened and watched intently – which is not always productive – or knuckled down on my work and missed out on opportunities to connect socially, or learn something that may not have been directly relevant at the time, but useful to be aware of for wider context in the workplace. XRAI Glass creates the opportunity to have more awareness of those conversations and provides the potential for social cues that allow someone to chip into a conversation, and also be part of something.

Ready to try XRAI Glass for yourself?

Download the app today and experience the magic of XRAI Glass – either on your phone or in augmented reality.

About British Rowing

British Rowing is the governing body for the sport of rowing in the UK. Their team are committed to ensuring that the sport continues to thrive from grassroots right up to winning medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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