New cinema access system moves to development phase

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Friday, 5 March 2010 10:41am

SightCine, a Los Angeles based start-up company, has secured development funding to create a prototype of its caption glasses concept. The idea is that the captions are displayed on the screen but are only visible to people wearing the glasses.

There is not much detail in exactly how the glasses work, but other systems using glasses have been developed before. In February 2007 an emerging technologies demonstration was showcased at a cinema in Washington DC. This was reported in Winter 2007 issue of The Media Access Report (“R&D For Cinema Captioning Systems”, p16).  This included a system known as Clozed Captions, which used polarised light to make captions visible at the bottom of the screen.  In this case the system worked well, but did have the effect of darkening the movie and making the colours less vibrant. This system never moved beyond the prototype stage. 

Whilst details on the system remain sketchy, a few questions emerge: 

  • How will this system work with 3D movies that require 3D glasses?
  • Is the caption content sourced from existing caption streams, such as the captions supplied as part of the digital package, or is there a separate process for creating the captions?
  • Is there a separate audio description technology (most access systems offer both captioning and audio description as part of one package) or will that require a different system to be installed as well?

For more information on the development, go to the SightCine website.


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