Innovation That Matters

Smart subtitles open cinema access to everyone

Work & Lifestyle

Italy's Movie Reading app and Regal Cinemas in the US are bringing smarter subtitles to the cinema, catering both for foreign language speakers and deaf people.

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We recently wrote about MyLINGO — the app that delivers foreign language audio dubs for recent cinema releases to those who don’t understand English. Tackling a similar issue, Italy’s Movie Reading app and Regal Cinemas in the US are aiming to do the same for subtitles, catering both for foreign language speakers and deaf people.

Instead of having to book a specific subtitled showing outside of primetime, these two innovations help those who need them to get access regardless of the showing. Italy’s Movie Reading app — free to download on the App Store and Google Play — hosts a large database of subtitles for movies currently in the cinema. Users simply find the film they have a ticket for and the app syncs the subtitles by detecting the audio of the movie. They then use their second screen to see the subtitles. Movie Reading gets around the task of relying on theater owners to provide their own accessibility offerings and leaves users free to see any film they like.

Regal Cinemas in the US is also trialling a new technology that could provide subtitles on an individual basis. Using Sony Entertainment Access Glasses available for each film, viewers can watch the movie with their own private subtitles, projected onto the lenses of the eyewear. The company has introduced the glasses at around 6,000 theaters across the US already, in an attempt to encourage more deaf and hard of hearing people to its cinemas.

Both options help foreign language and deaf film fans to be able to see the same showings as their English-speaking and non-deaf friends, without disturbing the experience of the movie for others. Are there other ways to enable audiences with extra needs to remain integrated with the rest of society?

Spotted by Murray Orange, written by Springwise




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