Sony pioneering "subtitle glasses" for deaf moviegoers

Posted by Mark Raby

In the future, deaf people might be able to go in the same movie theaters as everyone else.

That appears to be the main goal for Sony's unique glasses that allow the wearer to see subtitles that are exclusive to him or her.

The company originally brought up the idea a while ago, but it was largely conceptual at that time. Now, however, there is actually a working prototype.

Sony showed off the glasses in a BBC TV news report and took a hard-of-hearing viewer to a theater, gave him the special eyewear, and presented a movie. The demo went off without a hitch.

It doesn't take a big imagination to come up with other ideas that could make use of this kind of technology. For example, international events like press conferences or the Olympics could show video presentations; attendees could simply pick up the glasses that correspond to the language of subtitles they need.

Of course, though, the main focus right now is for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers to potentially be able to sit in the same theater as everyone else when they want to go see the latest movie.

It will take cooperation from theaters and filmmakers, but this certainly sounds like a project that people would be willing to get behind.

The technology remains a work in progress, and there is no plan at this point as to when to roll out the glasses in real, practical applications.

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