There are a lot of people out there dealing with some degree of hearing disability--one in six, by some estimates--and that audience is typically underserved when it comes to cinematic experience. Some films are screened with subtitles, but often at odd times. But Sony is working up a fix in its UK lab: a pair of glasses that places subtitles right in the user’s field of view.
BBC reports that the glasses--which could be in UK theaters as soon as next year--could open up the movie-going experience to myriad fans who previously couldn’t enjoy the cinema due to an inability to properly hear what’s going on on-screen. And while we haven’t had a chance to trial the glasses ourselves, the BBC’s test subject--a Brit named Charlie Swinbourne who himself has a hearing disability--said the glasses provide a pretty good experience, and that though the subtitles are beamed onto the glasses the feel is pretty seamless, as though they are projected onto the screen.
If they trial well in the UK the technology could wind up states-side in the not-too-distant future. And never mind the clunky frames and the less-than-fashionable appearance they create. At the rate Hollywood is churning out 3-D “blockbusters” (and I use that term loosely), pretty much everyone is already wearing silly-looking glasses in movie theaters anyhow.
See the glasses in action via the BBC’s report through the link below.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.