AirScript Wireless Translator for Live Theater

Airscript closed-caption device for live theater productions

The theater industry in United Kingdom has tried to come up of ways to provide subtitles during live performances, such as providing screens on either sides of the stage where the text is displayed in real time.  Some say that such measures were more distracting than beneficial.  And although subtitles have been a great help for audience members with hearing loss, how will they be able to cater to foreign visitors who have little understanding of the Queen’s language?

Show Translations may have a solution, as they recently launched the AirScript closed-caption device for theater productions.  Designed and developed by Cambridge Consultants, this WiFi-enabled handheld gadget displays subtitles in real time.  Not only it can provide subtitles in up to 8 languages including Japanese, Simplified Chinese, French, and Spanish, it also eliminates the need for on-stage screens that distract the viewing experience.

The AirScript has a full-color, high-resolution widescreen touchscreen display.  Audience members simply select the language of choice and they are done.  The screen is dominantly black so it will not distract other audience members.  Also, the subtitle speed is manually controlled by the theater’s stage prompt, making sure that the text keeps up with what is going on stage.  The stage prompt can also adjust the brightness of the subs.  The device is completely silent and ergonomically-designed to be comfortable for all ages and abilities.

The AirScript was tested during a "Hairspray" presentation in London’s Shaftesbury Theatre and is expected to become available by the end of November 2009 for theater owners, who in turn would rent out the devices to audience members in need of subtitles.

Image source:  Cambridge Consultants

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