Compared to TV, movie theaters have usually struggled to come up with good accessibility devices for their audibly or visually impaired customers.
These theaters do have closed captioning devices that have a small display screen attached to an adjustable neck/mount. These are placed in customers’ cupholders and are free of charge, but often times these screens are obtrusive and distract other patrons even if the device claims to have a privacy visor.
However, closed captioning for movie theaters has recently made a huge leap in progress.
New Devices Equal New Opportunities
NPR reported back in May that Regal Cinemas plans to start carrying glasses that patrons can use instead of the awkward, goose-neck cupholder screens.
Similar in idea to Google Glass or 3D glasses, the Sony Entertainment Access Glasses project the closed captioning onto the glasses and make them “float” in front of the patron. NPR reported that the glasses also allow patrons to boost audio levels if they’re having a hard time hearing, and they provide audio tracks of the action and events of the movie so the blind can better understand the film.
And they work on both 2D and 3D movies.
Access Glasses Create Better Movie-Going Experience
Historically, it’s always been easier for the hard of hearing and the blind to stay at home to watch movies and TV. Closed captioning has been a requirement for TV sets and channels for years now, and in-home devices that make it easier to see, read, and hear entertainment are a better investment than wasting money on attending a movie in theaters where the experience is sub-par because of the lack of progressive accessibility devices.
But responses from readers in the comments section of the NPR article are now showing excited and renewed interest in attending movies because of this development in closed captioning devices. Some readers are saying they haven’t been to a movie theater in over ten years, and others are grateful for finally being able to take their deaf children to see a film for the first time.
Clearly, closed captioning is more important an issue than the majority of movie-goers realize.
Check out a trailer for the Access Glasses here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OsckbFwU2SQ.
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