New captioned cinema technology launched in Italy

Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:54pm

Italian company Universal Multimedia Access has teamed with electronics giant Epson to launch MovieReading, a new competitor in the market for cinema captioning technology.

The MovieReading app for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets allows you to watch closed captions discreetly on your own personal device. The app is compatible with Epson’s Moverio BT100 glasses, which replicate the effect of open captions, similar to Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses. At a cost of 299 euros ($370), MovieReading is working towards Italian cinemas purchasing glasses to hire out to customers. Some cinemas are also hiring out tablets with pre-loaded captions for one euro. A video demonstrating the glasses has been subtitled in English.

The app is free and caption files can then be downloaded for approximately $2 per file. At the cinema, patrons can show their download receipt to get a discount for the ticket, essentially making the captions a free service. Once inside the auditorium, the downloaded caption file is selected and as the movie’s opening credits begin, the app will synchronise the captions with the movie soundtrack.

MovieReading aims to offer captions for two new release movies each week in Italian, with the number of English caption files set to increase as the market demands. At present, captions are mainly provided in Italian. The company is also working towards display compatibility with a range of electronic glasses.

Initially launched in Italy, MovieReading has now expanded the availability of its app to a select international market, including Australia.

What sets MovieReading apart from current closed caption technologies is that it is does not need to rely on captions being available directly from the movie, or equipment being supplied by the cinema. Movie patrons have the opportunity to be completely independent in watching captions.


Top of page