Sony developing subtitle glasses for deaf people

Europe, September 1 2011

Sony is beginning to develop a track record for unconventional uses for glasses, this time creating subtitle glasses for deaf people.

First it was Dual View 3D, the new take on stereoscopic 3D glasses that would give two separate pictures to two viewers on a single 3D TV, but the latest ocular development comes as a gift to deaf people.

Sony’s UK research and development division has created the concept glasses to fill the void in cinema screenings that could service deaf viewers, where most subtitled screenings are displayed at inconvenient times.

When implemented, the glasses would pick up on a wireless signal from the cinema to stream subtitles as green text on the edge of the glass frames, giving the illusion of text printed on the movie screen like ordinary subtitles.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of potential though, with applications for the technology lending itself to simultaneous transcriptions of conversations, texting, emails and directions, according to a report from BBC News.

Sony pushed the boundaries of optical technology earlier this year when it previewed Dual View 3D that took typical 3D glasses to show two viewers two entirely different images on screen. The viewing mode uses the same optical illusion that produces depth on 3D TVs to show two separate images to two viewers.

The real-world applications would see gamers sharing the same screen space while playing co-operative games, or even potentially having one person watching TV while another plays their gaming console at the same time.

Just like the subtitle glasses, the technology is not available for everyone yet, but the subtitle technology is reported by BBC to be available sometime next year – at least in the UK, for now.


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