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Sony Subtitle Glasses Add Captions for the Deaf

by Paul Strauss

If you’re have difficulty hearing or are deaf, going to the movies can be a challenge unless you manage to find a showing or a theater with special projected captions. Thanks to a new Sony technology, you can now view captions on any showing of a digitally-projected film, without requiring that everyone watch the captions.


Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses contain a pair of tiny projectors which can superimpose captioning in front of just your eyes. The glasses offer a variety of adjustments for the size, color, position and language of the captions, providing flexibility for a variety of eyes and viewing conditions. In addition, the glasses can support 3D without another pair of lenses. While you might imagine these glasses are just a concept, they’re not. They’re already in production, and you can find them at some Regal Cinema locations already.

The glasses are currently compatible with Sony’s 4K Digital Cinemas, though it’s unlikely that they’ll ever work with other projection systems.

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Comments (8):

  1. Michelle says:

    I am deaf since birth. Myself fluent American Sign Language. I’m from Basking Ridge, NJ I have been difficulty deaf, going to the movies without captions. I don’t understand what they say.. lot of frustration. Now I finally saw about new Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses within closed-caption. Our deaf community need that!!

  2. Louis Schwarz says:

    Please be advised that the term, “hearing impaired” is unacceptable. Here is the explanation:

    The term “Hearing Impaired” is a technically accurate term much preferred by hearing people, largely because they view it as politically correct. In the mainstream society, to boldly state one’s disability (e.g., deaf, blind, etc.) is somewhat rude and impolite. To their way of thinking, it is far better to soften the harsh reality by using the word “impaired” along with “visual”, “hearing”, and so on. “Hearing-impaired” is a well-meaning word that is much-resented by deaf and hard of hearing people. This term was popular in the 70s and 80s, however, now is used mostly by doctors, audiologists and other people who are mainly interested in our ears “not working.”

    While it’s true that their hearing is not perfect, that doesn’t make them impaired as people. Most would prefer to be called Deaf, Hard of Hearing or deaf when the need arises to refer to their hearing status, but not as a primary way to identify them as people (where their hearing status is not significant).

    We are deaf, and not people with impairments (obstacles) in life!

    Hope that you and your people respect by refusing to use the outdated and offensive term. Hearing loss is more acceptable for everyone who is not just deaf.


    • Technabob says:

      No offense intended. We will correct the post to reflect the proper terminology.

    • Lynn says:

      I think you should realise that the ‘correct’terminology varies from country to country; and even person to person – hearing impaired is much more acceptable than hearing difficulties in the UK for example. It is difficult to get it right for a general audience but my policy is to just ask the adults I work with. [Mother of adult Deaf daughter and disability adviser in the UK]

  3. JRS says:

    I’m glad to see people trying new technologies, but I’d love to see these inventors work with inventors in the Deaf community. I’ve been talking to a lot of Deaf parents who say the frustration with the glasses is they block out peripheral vision, making it tough to monitor kids. Deaf people have up to 40% greater fields of vision, especially sign language users, and it’s crazy annoying to have 40% of what you can see suddenly cut out.

  4. Derek says:

    A solution such as the Sony Access Glasses would be very useful for people with hearing loss in the UK. Although most cinemas now have facilities to screen the latest films with English-language subtitles & audio description for people with hearing or sight loss, there are only around 1,000 subtitled shows every week around the UK. That may sound a lot but it’s only around 1% of cinema shows. In the UK, subtitles are on the cinema screen, for all to see, so require separate screenings – inconvenient for cinemas as well as audiences.

    Subtitle glasses would increase the choice of subtitled films and shows tenfold, which people with hearing loss would very much appreciate. Take a look at this page of feedback from the cinema-going public: http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/quote.html

    In fact a multi-language/caption/narration solution such as subtitle glasses or a caption display would enable under-served, untapped audiences Europe-wide to enjoy the cinema experience. Not only people with hearing or sight loss, but also people whose first language is not the local language.

    The content is ready – film distributors already ensure that most popular cinema releases are routinely captioned, audio described and subtitled in many European languages. Large-capacity DCP hard drives can easily accommodate a digital film and multi-language text/audio tracks.

    With ageing, loss of some hearing or sight is inevitable. Access to film via captions/subtitles and audio description/narration is something that we may all appreciate eventually.

    Derek Brandon
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/yourlocalcinema/favorites

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