By Jonathan Fincher
03:11 July 19, 2012
We’re smack in the middle of summer, which means there are plenty of blockbuster movies to choose from in theaters right now. If you’re deaf, though, a trip to the movies can be frustrating. Not many theaters screen movies with closed captions, since most people without hearing problems would rather not see them. The only other option is usually to have a special ear piece on, but that only works if a person has any of their hearing left. Fortunately, Sony is outfitting certain theaters with its new Entertainment Access Glasses, which can display captions right in front of the wearer’s eye that no one else can see.
The lightweight glasses are outfitted with small projectors on each side that display green text as an overlay that seems to float in front of the big screen. That way, viewers can see a perfectly clear caption no matter how or where they sit in the theater. Users can also change the brightness of the captions, how far away they appear to be, and even their angle to get the best view possible.
The attached receiver even has audio jacks that can transmit either assistive audio (like the ear pieces many theaters already have) or an audio description of the on-screen action for the blind – though unfortunately, the audio and the caption glasses cannot be used at the same time. Users can also choose from six different languages, depending on which ones are available for the movie. On top of that, the glasses support 3D as well, so a person won’t have to somehow fit two or more pairs of glasses on their face. Both the audio and closed captions are broadcast from a radio transmitter attached to the theater’s digital cinema server.
Sony has currently begun providing the Entertainment Access Glasses to some of its 4K Digital Cinemas, and recently inked a deal to bring them to Regal Cinemas across the United States.