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article imageSmart glasses introduced for hearing impaired theater goers

By Tim Sandle     Oct 5, 2018 in Entertainment
London - For those with impaired hearing subtitles for movies and television programs open up a rich stream of entertainment. Going to the theater has been challenging, until now. Smart glasses are being tested to assist the hard of hearing to enjoy the stage.
The trial is taking place in the U.K., at The National Theatre in London. At the start of October 2018, the organization introduced smart caption glasses. The Royal National Theatre is one of the U.K.'s three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House.
The smart caption glasses have the functionality to display dialogue on the lenses as actors speak, allowing those who have hearing difficulties to follow the action. The glasses are available at no cost to patrons. Two of the theater's three stages have the glasses available, form the current productions of “War Horse” and “Hadestown.” If the trial goes without any hitches the glasses will be available for all productions from January 2019.
Marie Pascall, who is the founder of Performance Interpreting (which is a service for sign language interpreters) told The New York Times that the glasses were “fantastic", stating "You get a complete sense of the whole play. You’re not having to ping-pong between the actors and words.”
The software that operates the smart glasses has been developed so that it to respond to lighting changes and stage directions, as well as following the words as spoken. The smart glasses are similar in concept to Google Glass.
The National Theatre’s technology, was designed by its own IT department together with consultants from Accenture plus Andrew Lambourne, who is an academic and expert in live subtitling. The glasses were manufactured by the the company Epsom, who provided 40 glasses for free (with the National Theatre spending £599 - $785 - for each pair, purchasing a further fifty pairs).
More about Theater, national theatre, Deaf, smart glassess
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