High-tech innovators consider theater captioning alternatives

Imagine sitting in a theater and reading William Shakespeare’s words on a smartphone or tablet as the actors speak their lines.

Such an innovation could help the deaf and hearing impaired, or bring captioned lines in other languages to non-English speakers. Students could read notes to explain obscure Elizabethan terms or to help them understand insider Shakespeare jokes.

The Rogue Valley high-tech community is joining forces to devise new ways to bring captions to theater audiences — a volunteer effort that could attract worldwide attention.

Software writers and other experts will meet today to begin organizing a “hackathon” to tackle theater captions. The effort to solve myriad problems associated with on-screen captions will continue through the summer.

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