Movie time has long been a family tradition for many, with multiple generations sharing big screen laughs, tears, fright and adventure. Movies and the theater experience have changed over the years, but family time at the movies endures.
Since the advent of sound in film, though, those who are deaf and hard of hearing have had few chances to share the same level of enjoyment as other family members. Movies with captions have largely been limited to certain theaters, select movies and special showings.
Those who don’t want want others to know of their hearing loss might not want to use some of the special accommodations various theaters have made — but the answer may be here.
Many Left Out of Movie Enjoyment
Too many grandparents with hearing loss find themselves left out of movie outings with grandchildren – either left at home or missing a key dimension of the movie. You don’t have to be a senior, of course, to miss out on spoken word in the theater because of a hearing impairment.
Innovative technology from Sony and a customer-friendly approach by the Regal Entertainment Group are putting out the welcome mat for the entire family.
We want to highlight the technology and those putting it to use, both to inform family caregivers and to encourage other companies to develop technologies that improve the lives of our senior loved ones.
Entertainment Access Glasses
While Google Glass is capturing lots of buzz about the future of entertainment technology, another set of glasses is already making a big difference in the ability of many to join the entertainment in the movie theater. Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses use holographic technology to put closed captions right on the lenses to give users the text and picture in one unobstructed view. The glasses fit over other glasses the user may be wearing and have filters that can be inserted so a full 3D experience can be enjoyed.
We encountered these unique caption glasses by chance, looking through the movie listings in our area. After long seeing captioned movies limited to a single movie at a time in a local theater and none at all in the multiplex closest to us, we were very pleasantly surprised to see the caption symbol next to all movies and showtimes at our local Regal Cinema. We just had to try it out.
Putting the Glasses to the Test
The party for our trip to the movies included a deaf member who was skeptical about the advertised captioning after experiencing frustration with awkward and ineffective assistive devices in the past. We didn’t see any signs about the glasses in the theater but the first person we asked sent us right to the manager, who quickly got us set up and walked through some easy instructions.
Thumbs up all around was our verdict after everyone tried the glasses, with extra enthusiasm from the former skeptic – – who is looking forward to the next movie.
We let the manager of the Regal Cinema know we loved the glasses and appreciate them being made available.
This is a great example of technology that improves lives, because entertainment is an important aspect of our lives, and helps bring generations together. We applaud the innovation shown by Sony and Regal, because it takes both the development of the device and making it available in theaters to provide the benefit to moviegoers.
We thought this video from Regal Cinemas website does a great job at explaining the Entertainment Access Glasses and how they’re used in the theater and hope you’ll use it to help deaf and hard of hearing loved ones share in the movie experience.