Four teams of students from Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf wrapped up months of conception, research, design, engineering and marketing when they showed off their inventions, new technology and business concepts hoping to come up with the Next Big Idea and win a share of $10,000 in prize money.
There will be a special attraction for deaf people in theaters nationwide soon. By the end of this month, Regal Cinemas plans to have distributed closed-captioning glasses to more than 6,000 theaters across the country. Sony Entertainment Access Glasses are sort of like 3-D glasses, but for captioning. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user. They also come with audio tracks that describe the action on the screen for blind people, or they can boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing. This is a big moment for the deaf, many of whom haven't been to the movies in a long time. Captioned screenings are few and far between, and current personal captioning devices that fit inside a cup holder with a screen attached are bulky, display the text out of their line of vision to the screen, and distract the other patrons.
Raymond Smith Jr. has been trying for nearly two decades to make the movie industry listen to the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing. This month, the senior executive at Regal Entertainment Group will come closer to his goal. His company, the nation's largest theater chain, will have nearly 6,000 theater screens equipped with closed-captioning glasses that could transform the theatrical experience for millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons who have shunned going to the cinema because previous aids were too clunky or embarrassing to use. The Knoxville, Tenn., chain has invested more than $10 million in the glasses, which were developed by Sony Electronics Inc. Resembling thick sunglasses, the device uses holographic technology to project closed-caption text that appears inside the lenses, synchronized with the dialogue on the screen.
Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, announced a milestone with 200 theatres nationwide now offering the Sony Entertainment Access System at theatres across the country. Regal Entertainment Group is working exclusively with Sony for this cutting-edge technology to assist moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, have low vision or are blind.
The movie industry's transformation to digital technology has created an opportunity to efficiently deliver closed caption data to movie patrons. This coincides with large demand from people with hearing difficulties to watch movies more easily and enjoyably. Sony has therefore developed entertainment access glasses utilizing its unique holographic technology: the STW-C140GI Entertainment Access Glasses with Audio and, as part of this solution, the STWA-C101 Data Transmitter. When wearing this stylish and lightweight seethrough eyewear, users can see closed caption text seemingly superimposed onto the movie picture that they're watching on screen - it's a natural subtitlemovie experience. In addition, as the captioning glasses' receiver box is equipped with an audio assist function, this solution is useful not only for people with hearing difficulties but also for people with visual impairments - both can enjoy movies far more than ever before. With Sony's entertainment access glasses, a broader range of the movie-going public can now enjoy exciting movie experiences, and exhibitors can achieve valuable service differentiation while also increasing customer traffic.
Regal has been busy working on equal access to movies! I have heard it is their plan to roll closed-captioning for every showtime of every movie to all of their theaters. My local theaters already have this functionality, so I decided to test drive it and go see Avengers. Upon arrival, you will need to stand in line with the rest of the world, since the ticket kiosks cannot distribute the glasses. I exchanged my driver license for some fancy Sony glasses. So first things first. The glasses really work! Captions are clear, and I discovered halfway through the movie that I could adjust the position of the captions vertically (I initially needed to wear the glasses way down on my nose to get them where I wanted them).
Sony is working with American theater chain Regal Entertainment to introduce a new kind of glasses technology that can display closed captions for those with hearing problems. The new Access Glasses can show text in six different languages, which is then placed directly in the viewer's field of vision so that they don't have to constantly look at the bottom of the screen. The information is streamed wirelessly, and the location of the text can be adjusted to make things more comfortable. The glasses also include features for the blind or visually impaired, as they can be used alongside headphones to provide extra audio detail about just what's happening on screen. Regal - the largest theater chain in the US - started rolling the Access Glasses out this month, and expects to have them available in "practically all of its fully digitized theater locations" by early 2013.
Universities and colleges across the US are working to meet requirements to deliver accessible content for hearing impaired and deaf students, faculty and community. Today,Symphony Video, Inc., creator of Ensemble Video Software, and Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) announced the completion of an integrated workflow that offers built-in management controls for streamlining video content captioning. Now institutions can aggregate captioning volumes for greater discounts, allowing faster creation of more accessible content while maximizing tight budgets.
Ever since closed video captioning was developed in the 1970s, it hasn't changed much. The words spoken by the characters or narrators scroll along at the bottom of the screen, enabling hearing impaired viewers - or all viewers when the sound is off - to follow along. Now a team of researchers from China and Singapore has developed a new closed captioning approach in which the text appears in translucent talk bubbles next to the speaker. The new approach offers several advantages for improving the viewing experience for the more than 66 million people around the world who have hearing impairments.
Empire Theatres, a partner in the Canadian Digital Cinema Partnership, announced today the completion of their digital cinema conversion project. The conversion began in theatres starting in May 2011, and its completion makes Empire Theatres the first national exhibitor in Canada to complete a digital cinema conversion. As of March 7, 2012, 359 screens in 45 theatres have been converted from 35mm to digital projection.