few posts ago I was excited to present to you a review of Sony Access Glasses, subtitle glasses for use in movie theaters, but when I arrived at the theater, it turned out that the glasses were not available; (luckily, another Rear Window-esque captioning system was in place instead). However...
Last night I finally got a chance to use this technology, available at select theaters throughout the country (in my case, a Regal Cinema in Manhattan). A friend and I went to see Bond's latest Skyfall, which, admittedly, doesn't have that much earth-shattering dialogue. But in any case, here's a little bit more info about the subtitle glasses experience:
I requested the glasses from guest services, where they had me write down my name and address, presumably in case I decided to lift the equipment. Then a manager walked with us to the specific theater of our showing, where she pressed a few buttons on the attached battery pack/ transmitter, so that the glasses were programmed to the right movie and subtitle track. Like other subtitle equipment, there were no captions for the previews, but once the movie started, green captions, complete with music and sound descriptions appeared on the glasses. For those who are used to open captions or more stationary personalized closed caption devices, this takes some getting used to, as the captions (obviously) move when you move your head. They can also become crooked or blurry if the glasses fall out of place, which was a slight issue for me; the equipment was definitely designed with a bigger person's head in mind, so my nose, rather than my ears (like regular glasses), ended up taking the brunt of the weight, which was uncomfortable. Additionally, the glasses block all the wearer's peripheral vision, which made communicating with my friend difficult.
I imagine these glasses will only get less bulky with time, though. All in all, the experience was a smooth one; the equipment worked, the captions were clear and, to the best of my knowledge, correct. But most importantly it appeared that most or all of the movies at the theater were captioned using this technology, so the best part about it is that it's making more movies and showtimes accessible! I was excited for the chance to see a relatively new-release movie (that wasn't Twilight) with a hearing friend at the day and time of our choice, and look forward to doing it again soon.