Cinema: glasses for the deaf

Epson is to make glasses that will reproduce movie subtitles on the lenses

Subtitles for deaf people everywhere and the freedom to choose any movie. How? A cross between 3D and prescription glasses, the special glasses that recently appeared on the market reproduce subtitles while you watch the movie: they are connected to a tablet that transmits the words from an app to the lenses.


Epson has made them in collaboration with MovieReading, an Italian company set up in 2010 by Colby, which has been making subtitles since 1994. Slightly heavier than conventional types, the glasses are being tested at Reatech Italia, an exhibition devoted to disabilities and innovation taking place in Rho through Sunday. For the moment, the price of 699 euros makes these glasses a luxury gadget. "They have just been launched – explained MovieReading CEO Carlo Cafarella – and Google has announced that it will be making its own version".


The glasses are the latest development in movie subtitles for the deaf, but apps for tablets and smartphones have existed for some time now. The app is free and the subtitles cost 1.50 euros. Some movie theaters, Cafarella pointed out while demonstrating the smarphone with the downloaded subtitles, give discounted tickets. MovieReading has a list of movies that is updated every week with the latest releases. The system is simple: download the app, choose the film and when you are at the movie theater, the phone records the sound and synchronizes the subtitles with the movie being shown. The subtitles are in Italian, but for certain movies there are also English, French and Spanish subtitles. "The tablets are available at various multiplexes - Cafarella said – and we plan to distribute the glasses soon".