Captioning and audiodescription made easy with STACK, says Matt Barton at 7thSense Design
Matt Barton, 7thSense Design’s managing director, runs a scout group for children with special needs. He says he’s taken the group to a number of theme parks and seen how inaccessible they can be.
“It’s important to me that we develop our technologies in a way that can help improve inclusivity in the industry,” says Barton. “We were asked by a major client to develop a solution taking advantage of the latest AR technologies to provide closed captioning while maintaining the immersive nature of dark rides. In answer to this challenge, we have developed an Android application which could run on a tablet, phone or a pair of AR glasses, allowing us to display subtitles for content we’re serving from the 7thSense Delta Media Server. We can also play audio files through that device.”
This means someone with hearing difficulties can wear a pair of smart glasses and captions will be overlaid on the screen as they move through a dark ride, or a person with seeing difficulties can enjoy audiodescription as they enjoy the experience. This is simply managed through the STACK show control framework in Delta.
“It works well on rides because the smart device always knows where the rider is in the experience and what scene they are watching, so the captioning and audio is kept in sync with the media,” Barton says. “This could be extended in the future with location-based services that would know exactly where a guest is in a museum and display the right subtitles or audio track.”
“Choice of language is built in to this system so you can also have two people sitting beside each other enjoying an experience in two different languages.”