Startup Actiview recently released its “all-in-one app for accessibility content at the movies,” available now for download from the App Store. This apps aim to improve the experience of blind and deaf individuals at the movies.
Currently, the millions of Americans who are hearing or vision-impaired cannot have the same experience at the movie theater that many people take for granted. Actiview acknowledges this and aims to help those populations by providing its users with closed captioning on films for those with hearing impairments, audio description for those with vision impairments, and Spanish and other language translations at theaters.
Current technology for vision and hearing impaired movie-goers does exist, such as Sony’s closed-captioning glasses, but is often not a reliable or accommodating option. Awkward, clunky, and expensive, these assistive devices are behind the times as far as the capabilities of technology are concerned. All forms of accessible content are consistently unavailable at most movie theaters, and Alex Koren, a co-founder of Actiview, believes that the potential solution and technology for more comprehensive content exists in our pockets. Hearing about the infuriating inadequacy of these theater experiences and assistive listening devices, Koren realized the exclusive nature of technology and greater society, which often subjects and marginalizes the many hearing and vision-impaired Americans. Koren says,
We quickly realized that the need went further than just amplification and we set out to make the ultimate access tool for entertainment, offering audio description, amplified audio, closed captions, sign language interpretation, and multi-language support.
Actiview provides theaters with a box, which plugs into their AV system and connects to the wireless network. Users connect to the Wi-Fi, then select the movie and their desired services (i.e. scene or audio descriptions, multi-language captioning, sign language interpretation, or amplified sound) via the app. The first movie to consent with Actiview is ‘Cars 3,’ which will support the system’s scene descriptions and amplified audio at its nation-wide debut. For hands-free viewing, Actiview consumers can use a mount to view the film’s closed captions, and maximize their theater experience.
While movie accessibility is a big, inclusive step for technology, Koren hopes to reach even greater and broader points of accessibility. He says, “Movies are just the first place we’re going…We imagine a world where basketball and baseball games, and live theater are all accessible like this.”
Read more here – “Actiview aims to streamline movie accessibility for millions of hearing and vision impaired,” (Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch)