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Epson’s caption glasses refocus the action for deaf playgoers

Oct 2018 Reuters

1 epson 3d glasses webjpgFor all his adult life keen theatregoer Tim Hardy, who is partially deaf, has watched plays with a flashlight in his hand and a script on his lap so he can follow what's being said on stage. But he'll be able to swap those props for a pair of augmented reality glasses that, by displaying subtitles in real time, will let him focus fully on the action.

Hardy was completely or partly deaf from the age of 18 until a cochlear implant restored some hearing. "I'm aware I hear everything but don't interpret everything first time," he told Reuters at the National Theatre on London's South Bank, where an excerpt from "Exit the King" by Eugene Ionesco was performed to a small audience wearing the glasses. "I used to buy the text every time and follow it with a torch on my lap. Captioning of all sorts being available makes a huge difference," Hardy said.

Developed by Japanese technology firm Epson, the glasses use software to display captions that are synchronised with the actors' performances. They are available for hire at the theatre.

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