Subtitle Glasses for Hearing Impaired Theatre Experience

Movies are a passion of mine. I relish in the visual wonders and audio experience of these cinematic achievements. However, there are those of us who are not so fortunate and by one means or another may lack one of the senses used to appreciate films.

But now, thanks to science (and Sony Entertainment teaming up with Regal Entertainment Group,) a new technology is going to be introduced to cinemas in the form of a pair of glasses to aid the hearing and visually impaired.

These new glasses will work with both 2D and 3D films, and will project subtitles in the field of vision of its wearer allowing the hearing impaired a solution that would not require them to look away from the screen.

I know in some local cinemas they have seats designated to the hearing impaired that come equipped with a specially designed mirror that allows them to see subtitles that are being displayed on the back wall of the theater. However this process can be tiring on the eyes since the user constantly has to look to the screen and back to the mirror, refocusing each time.

These glasses will project the subtitles in the line of sight giving a more seamless experience that only its wearer will see.

But this initiative is not only for the hearing impaired. For the visually impaired, Sony has also developed earphones that simultaneously provide a secondary audio track of descriptive audio.

Regal anticipates this technology to be available at its digital projected cinemas by the first quarter of 2013.

Technology may not be at the point of curing the deaf and the blind yet, but in the meantime we can find ways for them to fully experience the same hobbies that many others enjoy.

[Via Slashfilm]

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3 Responses to Subtitle Glasses for Hearing Impaired Theatre Experience

  1. Reflective captioning doesn't use a mirror, it uses a transparent plexiglass plate so that you can look through it at the screen. Very similar to the glasses, actually. But it does require a display mounted in the back of the auditorium.

  2. These glasses would be very useful for people with hearing loss in the UK. Although most cinemas now have facilities to screen the latest films with English-language subtitles & audio description for people with hearing or sight loss, there are only around 1,000 subtitled shows every week around the UK. That may sound a lot but it’s only around 1% of cinema shows. In the UK, subtitles are on the cinema screen, for all to see, so require separate screenings.

    Subtitle glasses would increase the choice of subtitled films and shows tenfold. People would very much appreciate such a service from cinemas. Take a look at this page of feedback from the cinema-going public: http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/quote.html

    Derek, http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/now.showing.html

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