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Movie captions for the hearing-impaired

March 26, 2007 - Taking in a movie these days is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes. They even pass out Oscars for the best movie sound and music. That doesn't resound much with America's deaf or hard-of-hearing. Gary Nurenberg from CNN reports on how a little high-tech tweak lets millions of people enjoy a night out at the movies.

Rosaline Hayes-Crawford from the National Association for the Deaf says, "People who are deaf and hard of hearing have been left out of going to the movies, wonderful American cultural experience, because they don't have access to the sound track."

Activists think the answer is open captioning, words on the screen.

Less than one percent of all movies being displayed today are actually displayed with captions.

Film Producer Pliny Porter says, "It is a real issue because it is a visual medium, first and foremost for those who are not impaired and are seeing the actual lettering on the image, so you really have a split audience with different needs."

Ben Averch from Microvision, Inc., says, "Our product is a see-through, wearable display that superimposes digital information on your field of view."

The industry is experimenting with alternatives that let individual moviegoers to see captions while the general audience doesn't. These glasses allow viewers to read text on a green screen below the main screen.

Roger Hibbard from Ultra Stereo Labs says, "The glasses run about 19 cents and the projector puts the text on the screen is essentially a slide projector."

Washington lawyer John Stanton sued theaters to force better accommodations for the deaf. He now uses a device, offered by some theaters, called Rear Window.

"They simply put it in the cup holder and they adjust the reflective device to find the rear window screen at the back of the theater."

Although Stanton says the deaf community prefers open captioning, "I prefer to go, take the technology we have right now to go enjoy the movie, rather than hope the movie theaters or the general public becomes more accepting of open captioning."

Regal Theaters, which offer open captioning, recently invited the deaf community to sample alternatives.

Randy Smith from Regal Theaters says, "Maybe develop a system that is more user-friendly, which will enable theaters to then have captioning at every show time."

Just what deaf moviegoers want to see.


At March 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM Anonymous said...

Ben, Is ths Microvision???
How can they use:"pico-projector
Thanks, Bill

Can You See Me Now?

TI’s new chips turn cell phones into projectors and also make GPS tracking cheaper.
March 26, 2007

By Michael Cohn

Texas Instruments introduced two chips Monday that promise to turn cell phones into digital projectors and make the cost of adding GPS tracking for emergency 911 calls a lot less expensive.

Dallas-based TI unveiled a prototype of its DLP pico-projector, which can project presentations and videos from a mobile phone onto a wall. The image that’s produced is about the size of a sheet of paper, depending on lighting conditions. TI plans to show the technology at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando, Florida, starting Monday.

Mobile video is taking off as more phone companies such as Verizon Wireless with its V CAST service and Sprint Nextel with Sprint TV offer video clips such as news reports. Phone makers such as LG Electronics are already building digital camcorders into phones. Private companies like MobiTV are also in the business.

TI’s pico-projector will let cell phone users store presentations on their phones and project them on the wall so they don’t need to carry around heavy portable projectors when they’re on the road making sales and marketing calls.

The pico-projector will also let young filmmakers show a sample of their work to producers when making pitches. For consumers, the chips will let parents send videos to each other and to family members, who can then show a roomful of spectators footage of, say, their children’s first steps.

The chips can be built into a phone or into an accessory device that hooks onto the phone or one that runs as a separate mobile device.

“[These chips] really change the whole game,” said Frank Moizio, TI’s worldwide strategic marketing manager. “Usually it’s a one-to-one viewing experience with a mobile phone, but now it becomes one to many.”

However, he doesn’t think the technology will show up in actual cell phones for about two years.

At March 26, 2007 at 3:10 PM Ben said...

the thing I love about this is the fan they'll have to put into the phone so you don't go sterile when you put your phone in your pocket.

ours runs all day, is thin as an Andes thin mint, and stays cool to the touch.

"Picoprojector" is a generic term: "PicoP" is MVIS trademark.

At March 27, 2007 at 11:04 AM Anonymous said...

Did you have a chance to test it or you are just speculating? Using laser will make the TI chip much cooler. With laser they don't need to have the light source on all the time so heat will not be a problem anymore.

At March 27, 2007 at 11:04 AM Anonymous said...

Did you have a chance to test it or you are just speculating? Using laser will make the TI chip much cooler. With laser they don't need to have the light source on all the time so heat will not be a problem anymore.

At March 27, 2007 at 11:14 AM Ben said...

haven't seen it. somebody check it out and report back?


At March 26, 2008 at 12:06 AM Mabs said...

How does this work?I guess this is one of the best movies for the impaired

At April 3, 2008 at 1:30 AM Mabs said...

Has anyone tried testing it? I bet this would be a great help for the impaired. Time to complete the best movies list.


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