New cinema caption eyewear being trialled in the USA

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Monday, 14 March 2011 15:12pm

Equipment manufacturers in the USA are developing a new caption viewing system to compete in the developing market for closed captions.

The yet-to-be-named system comes as eyewear connected to a small receiver, with the captions appearing on the glasses in sync with the soundtrack. The eyewear is being tested in Regal Cinemas in Seattle.

Regal is also currently testing the CaptiView closed caption system as a pledge to the community, in response to a suit brought against it and other cinemas by Wash-CAP (the Washington State Communication Access Project). This demonstrates that Regal may be willing to display captions with more than one system, providing a choice for consumers and exhibitor management.

The system is in a prototype phase at the moment with transmitters being supplied by American cinema technology company USL.

The initial response from testers of the eyewear has been enthusiastic. The eyewear is reportedly comfortable and big enough to fit over regular glasses. The captions appear on the eyewear in line with the screen and one user said that he could enjoy the emotive aspects of the action as it happened when the lines were spoken.

The eyewear comes with distance settings, dependent on the user’s seating choice in the cinema. This allows the user to adjust the text’s depth, meaning eye muscles did not have to work at refocussing. There are also two text size settings and language settings, should the movie be available in other languages.

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