Posts Tagged ‘glasses’

Photo: The Stage
Open Access Smart Capture’s glasses enable deaf theatergoers in Britain to read live captioning during a performance.

Earlier this month I posted about how the Vienna State Opera provides captions in six languages.

Today’s entry is on making dramatic productions more accessible to the deaf by means of glasses that churn out captions.

Georgia Snow writes at the Stage, “The National Theatre has unveiled new technology that will enable deaf audiences to see captions for performances in front of their eyes using special glasses, … removing the need for captioning screens in the auditorium.

“Developed by the NT with its innovation partner, consultancy firm Accenture, Open Access Smart Capture is being introduced during a year-long pilot.

“If it is a success, the result would be ‘transformational,’ [NT director Rufus] Norris said. …

“The glasses boast 97% accuracy in the timing of the captions, and can also facilitate audio description, for audiences with restricted vision. …

“The project is one of two new initiatives being introduced by the NT around accessibility, the second being an online video database showcasing deaf and disabled actors. …

“It is part of a drive to tackle the under-representation of disabled actors working in the profession, Norris said. …

“He added that ProFile also hopes to remove some of the barriers for deaf and disabled performers, for whom travelling to auditions and meetings can be difficult and expensive.” More at the Stage, here.

If nothing the else, the glasses will be fun. A few years ago, I got to see that for myself using Google Glass. An executive where I worked was having summer interns play around with programming the glasses to test the possibilities for the Fed. That didn’t go anywhere, but it was definitely fun.

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At Global Envision, Seth Heller blogged about an organization that provides inexpensive eyeglasses to poor people in the developing world.

“We often take clear vision for granted,” writes Heller, “but Peter Eliassen knows that eyeglasses can be the difference between financial security and poverty for many in the developing world. As the chief operating officer of VisionSpring, Eliassen travels the globe making reasonably priced eyewear available for people who cannot otherwise afford them. …

“VisionSpring estimates more than 703 million people around the world need eyeglasses. Without vision correction, people are unable to secure employment during their prime working years, and supporting a family becomes almost impossible. …

“VisionSpring’s eyeglasses are priced around $4 and typically boost the wearer’s wage by an average of $108 per year – a significant amount in many developing nations. …

“However, a worker’s clear vision can be life-changing to many people outside their family. …

“The correlation between good public health and economic growth in developing nations is strong. If developing nations can reduce unemployment by solving ongoing public health problems such as impaired vision, the socioeconomic benefits can improve the lives of a nation’s entire population.” More here.

The story came to me by way of the Christian Science Monitor‘s Change Agent listserv.

Photo: Thatcher Cook/Mercy Corps
Eyeglasses from VisionSpring.

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Yesterday I tried Google Glass.

Summer interns where I work had been given a pair of the wearable computer glasses to program. For fun, they made the glasses present a data-visualization tool my boss created last year.

When I tried it out, I had to say first, “OK, Glass” to activate the program. A small computer screen appeared in front of my vision but a bit higher and to the right. Then I had to ask see a piece of the information I knew was available in the data-visualization tool. “Show me the population of Boston.”

Then the interns told me to scroll with my finger on the right side of the frame to see other data about Boston: characteristics of people in lower-income census tracts; characteristics of middle- and upper-income tracts. Finally, I asked to see other cities.

Until yesterday, I had no idea that you talk to the thing. It’s wildly expensive and, according to MIT Technology Review, sometimes subject to security dangers.

But what a fun toy!

(Hmmm. I can hear my father quoting Fowler’s dictionary: “Fun is a low-cant word.” And that man didn’t even know “fun” would someday be used as an adjective. Well, as the song goes, something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.)

Photo: NBC producer Frank Thorp using Google Glass in Washington, DC, Aug. 2, 2013. 

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