Epson Moverio smart glasses with live captions can help deaf theatergoers

The era of smart glasses is back. The modern gadget will be especially useful for those users who have a severe hearing impairment, and here we are talking about completely deaf people.

An Israeli startup GalaPro, working with the Schubert Organization, is testing out its smartglasses, aimed at theatergoers who have a hearing impairment. The glasses, which uses Epson’s Moverio smart frames, allows the user to view captions in real-time within the lenses – similar to the GalaPro app technology.

The company actually wanted to add another live text option beyond looking down at the GalaPro app on the phone. With the new smartglasses, the subtitles are meant to sit on the edge of the stage in the viewer’s eye.

The GalaPro App provides accessibility and translation services for live shows.
The GalaPro App provides accessibility and translation services for live shows.

These subtitles can also be translated into another language so that non-English people can understand the show. Besides, the user can customize the gadget as per his/her need – set the size and brightness of the subtitles. These real-time subtitles through the glasses rely on a pre-loaded script from the show as well as GalaPro’s voice-recognition software, which allows the app or the captions to change with any variations in the script during the live show.

Some press and media members tested the Epson Moverio smart glasses at the musical “Come From Away” show at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in mid-January. Users who tested the glasses emphasized that the words appeared in real-time, and it seemed as if the credits were floating under the performance site.

As the glasses are quite massive, but over time the user gets used to it, and when you turn your head, the subtitles follow you. However, some users struggled to keep the wide-framed glasses in place throughout the show. It was more convenient to use their own gadget, on which subtitles generated from the GalaPro application pop up.

The organization will continue testing these glasses. The Epson Moverio smart glasses come in different models ranging in price from $700 to $1,200. In general, experts, analyzing the means of help for people with severe hearing problems, came to the conclusion that this tool is useful.

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