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Saveria Arma

  Inclusive & Accessible Culture

02/07/2013

MovieReading: The Ultimate App for Accessible Cinema

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Accessibility of cinema for persons with sensory impairment is an issue of growing concern. Saveria Arma reviews the MovieReading App that allows users of all abilities to enjoy watching movies on the big screen.

Accessibility of cinema for persons with sensory impairments is an issue of growing concern, even in a period of economic crisis and shortages. If normative provisions in the USA ask most movie owners to provide accessible screenings and make huge investments on technology, in Europe, despite the vagueness of most audiovisual and media directives and enormous gaps among countries, accessibility is attracting more and more attention and seems to rank high in the political and social agenda.

Epson Moverio BT-100 glasses can be easily interfaced and connected to your Smartphone / tablet, so you can read captions on the lenses as if they were on the screen

Image: Epson Moverio BT-100 glasses can be easily interfaced and connected to your Smartphone / tablet, so you can read captions on the lenses as if they were on the screen

A global, cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for cinema accessibility worldwide comes from Italy, called MovieReading. The application is based on a patented and registered technology, which allows people with hearing impairment visiting cinemas to engage with a movie by displaying captions (in their preferred language) on their personal Apple or Android-based Smartphone or tablet. It seems easy, and it actually is. The microphone of your device recognizes the exact frame of the movie that is being screened at the cinema and automatically synchronizes pre-downloaded captions for you to read.

Here’s how it works. Type the keyword ‘moviereading’ in the ‘search’ field of the Apple Store or Google Play market; install the MovieReading app and run the test to see if your device is compatible with the application. Now you are ready to download captions from the ‘Market’ section. Look for the list of available movies, then download the captions (price is EUR 1.79 per caption file) in one of the available languages. It takes a few seconds only. Now you will see the captions in the ‘My movies’ section and you are ready to go to the cinema. You don’t need to be connected to the Internet for this to work. As soon as the movie begins, launch the app and open the captions, which will synchronize automatically (unless you cover the microphone with your hands!).

In many theaters in Italy, the payment receipt of the captions entitles you to have a discounted cinema ticket, which actually makes captions completely free of charge for end users. In other theaters, you can borrow a tablet – for free - to read captions, if you do not have a Smartphone or a tablet. The most amazing thing is that you, being an Italian deaf person, can go to the cinema with your English-speaking or French-speaking, or whatever foreign language-speaking friend, and watch the same movie!

The latest buzz is all about captions glasses. Epson Moverio BT-100 glasses can be easily interfaced and connected to your Smartphone / tablet, so you can read captions on the lenses as if they were on the screen.

MovieReading is looking for partners (subtitling companies, associations, foundations, industrial and commercial partners) to setup the service in other countries outside Italy. Feel free to mail marketing@moviereading.com and find out how to join the team.

Note. Around mid-January, MovieReading will be available on the App Store and on Google Play market in many countries worldwide. Download and try the app, I am sure you’ll love it. You can find more information on the MovieReading app on their website; View demonstration video on YouTube (captions in Italian, English, Japanese and French) and follow them on Twitter @moviereading.

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Related Resource

Blog: How to Provide Quality Service to Customers with Disabilities by Debra Ruh | Read the article.
 
Publication: Making Mobile Phones and Services Accessible for Persons with Disabilities | Download PDF.
 
Event: ICTHP 2013: 1st International Conference on Technology Helping for People with Special Needs | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | Find out more about the event.