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Cinema for all with Whatscine and Cine Accesible

Whatscine and Cine Accesible are two initiatives developed both by private institutions and Spanish universities who promote equality in cultural access.

7 january 2016

Enjoying audio-visual content just like anybody else.  This is the objective of Whatscine and Cine Accesible, two initiatives made in Spain and aimed at making cinema accessible for people who suffer some kind of sensory impairment.

During these last holidays, we have come to know the project Whatscine by Moviestar, which has shown in over 500 theatres the first advertisement accessible for people with disabilities.

Whatscine is a technology developed by the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, which includes the three main accessibility elements: audio description, subtitling and sign language.  This way, deaf people can use their devices to watch the subtitles or the image of a sign language interpreter synchronized with the movie dialogues; and blind people can listen to the movie’s audio description through headphones connected to their smartphone or tablet without interfering with the theatre’s sound. 

This application is compatible with Android and IOS and, in order to benefit from it, the user only needs to download it for free and install it in the device to be used.  Once within the theatre, the user needs to connect to the Wi-Fi network.  The system is also compatible with DVD and Bluray formats.

In the case of users with hearing impairments, they will have to purchase the Epson Moverio BT-100 glasses, as the theatres do not have the article.  Among its main characteristics, we could highlight the following:

  • Transparent portable viewer
  • Web Surfing
  • Compatible with MP3, MPEG 4 and 3D side-by-side contents
  • SD 4GB card included (it can be expanded up to 32 GB)
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive and Intelligent Navigation Menu

Likewise, in order to install the Whatscine system at a computer, it is necessary for it to reach the following technical requirements:

  • Intel Core I5 or higher
  • Graphic card: Intel HD Graphics or higher
  • RAM memory: 4GB or higher

Whatscine is also extendable to other disciplines such as video games, communication, architecture and education. For now, the application is available for the Moviestar + movie catalogy and in Yomvi, the video on demand platform.

On the other hand, the Fundación Orange and Navarra Cine in collaboration with the Universidad Deusto, have launched the project Cine Accesible, for which they have developed the ACCEplay technology which allows the projection of colour subtitles and the emission of audio descriptions synchronizing them with the movie at the same time it is projected in a conventional theatre. 

People with hearing impairments count with an additional screen, located underneath the main screen, which shows the subtitles under colour codes.  The subtitles show the movie dialogues and assign a different colour for each main character according to a code. Added to the dialogues, the screen also includes specifications on sounds, bumps, screams, music, etc.

People with visual impairments may demand wireless headphones at the theatre entry which will allow them to follow the audio description- a synchronized locution which provides information on everything which happens on the screen and which is relevant for a proper comprehension of the movie. 

In Spain: Bilbao, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Valencia and Zaragoza count with theatres which permanently show movies adapted to people with some kind of disability.  In Valencia, room 6 of the Cines Lys offers this kind of service.

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