Deaf people can now enjoy live theatrical performances more than ever before thanks to these new “smart caption glasses”.
The Royal National Theater in London piloted the glasses with their audience members who may be deaf or hard of hearing.
While sign language interpreters are often made available for certain performances, they are not always present for some of the shows. The glasses, on the other hand, use lighting, timing, and stages cues to display the scripted dialogue on the inside of the lenses. Even if an actor skips a few lines of dialogue, the glasses will be able to detect the change and display the correct scripting.
This way, spectators can watch the actors while reading the dialogue.
After several months of testing the glasses, the National Theater made the glasses available for all of their performances starting in 2019 free of charge.
Additionally, the manufacturer of the glasses hopes that the technology will soon be made available in theaters around the world.
“This new technology allows the deaf and hard of hearing to have complete access,” Sarina Roffé, the former president of the National Cued Speech Association, told CNN. “It’s really amazing how far we’ve advanced and how it has positively affected the quality of life for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.”
(WATCH the explanatory video below)
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