Rear Window Captioning arrives in Australia

Friday, 25 November 2011 11:10am

Work is underway to get Melbourne’s IMAX cinema ready to introduce a closed captioning system that will enable deaf and hearing impaired cinema-goers to enjoy documentaries and movies on the world’s third largest screen. This is the first time this particular technology has been used outside North America.

The Rear Window Captioning (RWC) system operates via an LED screen that projects reversed captions at the back of the cinema. Deaf and hearing impaired cinema goers can access the captions by utilising a personal, clear Perspex screen that reflects the captions, allowing them to be placed onto the cinema screen at a position of their choosing. 

IMAX Melbourne Museum, in conjunction with Arts Access Victoria, recently conducted a test with members of the deaf community in order to garner some initial feedback and suggestions to assist in developing guidelines and operational procedures for the use of the system. Ideas to communicate this technology to other members of the community were also sought.

IMAX Melbourne Museum will continue to test and trial the system over the next few months to ensure it can deliver the best experience possible for cinema goers wishing to watch captions, ahead of an early 2012 official launch. It’s expected that 15 RWC units will be available for use.

IMAX Melbourne Museum is also committed to providing audio description for people with vision impairment. It is anticipated that audio description will be available for most movies screened at IMAX within the first half of 2012.

Visit our new cinema section for a comparison of existing and emerging caption technologies.

Top of page