It often seems that technology is improving at such a rapid-fire pace it’s hard to keep up.
Once upon a time nearly every house in Summerville had a metal antenna on its roof, and nowadays people throughout South Carolina stream movies on their smartphones.
It’s hard to believe these changes have occurred in little over a generation!
Advanced technology isn’t just the domain of entertainment; it’s also had an impact on the world of health care.
n fact, patients with hearing loss in Summerville may soon benefit from some incredible technological breakthroughs that are taking place in London.
Smart Caption Glasses: A Boon for the Hearing Impaired
It sounds a bit ironic, but a device made for the eyes will actually benefit individuals with poor hearing.
Currently available at no charge for those attending the play “War Horse” or the musical “Hadestown,” they’ll be available for use for all shows beginning in 2019.
The smartglasses work by displaying dialogue in real time as the actors say it, relying on software that follows live speech and responds to certain stage directions, such as lighting changes, to ensure the subtitles show up in the right place.
The words are then sent to the glasses via Wi-Fi.
This allows audience members wearing the glasses to react to important moments, such as jokes, at the same time as everybody else.
Benefits of Technology for Hearing Loss
The benefits of this technology are plentiful.
Off-stage monitors or dialogue cards force patrons to look away from the action, moving between the actors and the words, which is distracting and a less immersive experience.
Having the words displayed on patrons’ smartphones, an early alternative idea, would have been equally problematic.
In the end, the smartglasses, whose technology took two years to perfect, won out.
Each pair cost $1,050, and with the theater purchasing 50 initially, that represented a pretty big capital investment.
But according to audiologists, one in six Britons experiences hearing loss – numbers similar to those in South Carolina and throughout the United States – so it seemed like a smart and forward-thinking decision.
If you’re hard of hearing and think a pair of smartglasses would be really cool the next time you see “Hamilton,” we concur, sir.
But don’t get your hopes up; it’s going to take some time for smart caption glasses to cross the pond and catch on elsewhere. In the meantime, be content in the knowledge that as fast as technology is advancing, there are sure to be continued breakthroughs for those with hearing loss in Summerville.
Related Hearing Loss Posts:
- Helpful Hearing Apps for Smartphone Users
- Risk Factors for Hearing Loss That Might Surprise You
- The History of Hearing Aids
Our North Charleston Audiologists Office Locations
5000 Epson Plantation Dr
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
298 Midland Pkwy
Summerville, SC 29485
2005 2nd Avenue
Summerville, SC 29486