It’s the most typical date night custom in the world — dinner and a movie on a Friday or Saturday night. But for many, that custom is next to impossible. That soon may change, however, thanks leading electronics manufacturer Sony. By simply slipping on a pair of high-tech glasses, deaf and hearing-impaired film lovers can enjoy the same movie watching experience as anyone else.
Over the past few years, Sony engineers have been hard at work developing a revolutionary closed captioning system that makes it easy for the deaf and hearing impaired to enjoy a film in a mainstream movie theater without bothering other audience members. Many theaters across the United States already offer what is known as rear-window captioning systems, whereby captions appear in mirror image (backwards) on a large LED display mounted on the rear wall of a theater. Deaf and hearing-impaired customers use a reflective plastic panel mounted on flexible stalk and set on the floor or in a cup holder to capture the reflection of the caption screen.
While rear window captioning has been a godsend for thousands of hearing impaired customers, they also can prove distracting to other moviegoers. Enter Sony with its new lightweight captioning glasses. Introduced late last year at ShowEast, a major tradeshow for the U.S. East Coast cinema exhibition and distribution industry, the glasses come with a receiver that picks up film captions from a wireless transmitter. Those captions are displayed in green LED-like text on the lenses so that, for the wearer, they appear to be projected onto the big screen. Yet those around them are none the wiser.
The glasses can be adjusted for text placement, viewing of 3D films and choosing from six different languages, Sony says. The glasses also can pick up audio descriptive tracks for the blind and those with poor vision. Dubbed “Entertainment Access Glasses,” the systems are showing up in Regal Theatres nationwide and will be in all of the chain’s theaters by Q1 2013.
As efforts to help better serve deaf and hearing-impaired continue, the need for competent closed captioning specialists is sure to grow. If you’re interested in a fun, meaningful new career, Stenotype Institute, Florida’s top court reporting and closed captioning school, should be your next stop. Call 800-273-5090 and talk with an enrollment representative today.