News Stories

Deaf? Bring Your Computer to the Theater

Newswise - For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the voices ofactors, teachers, sports announcers and clergy are silenced.But now researchers have developed a captioning system thatyou can take with you, for the 28 million Americans (about10% of the population) who are deaf or hard of hearing. Theonly thing you'll need to do is bring your PDA or laptopcomputer to the theater or stadium.

The COMMplementsTM system uses mobile wireless technologythat allows users to easily receive information that isbeing presented audibly to the general public in movietheaters, museums, theaters, schools, government meetings,sports arenas and places of worship. It can also be used forlanguage translation. One user says, "This is a good deviceto carry around in case an interpreter doesn't show up."

"?Our system is an easy way to get captioning to patrons ina way they want?customized for each person," says researcherLeanne West. "Right now, captioning is typically availableonly in [only a limited number of] movie theaters?but thisdevice gives us a way to deliver captioning at any venue."

In COMMplements, captions are sent via standard wirelesstechnology to a receiver, such as a laptop computer or PDA,which displays the captions. The wireless technology isalready installed in many places, such as baseballstadiums--and is even available in some coffee shops andrestaurants, so deaf people can "hear" the waiter when herecites that night's specials.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

Whether you're deaf or can hear, what'sthegreatest show on Earth? Egypt, of course!

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