Only at the Movies: Accessibility Wednesdays

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

CaptiView Technology
When you have a hearing impairment, going to the movies can be an onerous task. Cinemas rarely show films with captioning and when they do they are often at inconvenient times. For example, if I wanted to watch a movie at a theatre in Calgary tonight with captioning there are only a handful of cinemas who provide it and not every movie and showtime is supported. Even then, the theatres rely on a technology called CaptiView (pictured right), a device which mounts to the cup holder and shows the captions on a small auxiliary screen. While this system is a solution of sorts, some in the hard of hearing community have criticized it for being difficult to read, needing perfect posture (no snuggling up to loved ones) and requiring a back row seat (which are never reserved). Furthermore, the adaptation of this technology has led to a decreased showing of movies with on-screen captions, which were rarely shown to begin with.

Sony Entertainment Access Glasses
Enter the Sony Entertainment Acess Glasses, which were announced by Regal Cinemas and Sony last month. The glasses allow for closed captioning to be displayed in the viewers line of sight which makes for a more comfortable viewing experience and also works with 3D movies. You can control the size, location and brightness of the captions and they also fit comfortably over your current prescription glasses if you wear them. Even better, the glasses are provided and programmed by the theatre so they come at no additional cost to movie goers.

These glasses are available right now at Regal Cinemas in the United States and should become more widely available by the end of 2012. Watch the video below to learn more:


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