London’s National Theatre is using AR to help make its performances more accessible for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. When wearing a pair of glasses (designed and manufactured by Epson) users see a transcript of the dialogue and descriptions of the sound from a performance displayed on the lenses in real time.

Audience members with hearing loss previously relied on dialogue screens at the side of the auditorium (only available for a handful of performances) where you had to switch your attention from the stage to the captions on the screen. A member of the audience named Deepa who tried the smart caption glasses at the National Theatre commented, “I thought that the freedom to be able to read the captions and see the actors’ face was a big improvement. I’ve never felt that I was able to do that until I wore the glasses.”

The glasses are currently available for the productions “War Horse” and “Hadestown” and from January 2019 they will be available for booking on most new shows in the venue’s three theatres. Details on how to book the glasses are available here.

Source: Helen Papagiannis, Ph.D., VR Scout