The movies are getting a little more inclusive thanks to a mobile app that syncs them up with sign language interpretation. Actiview is a startup that hopes to make going to the movies as easy as opening up an app for people living with hearing impairment. The service was first introduced with the animated feature Cars 3, as well as for the home release of the criminally underrated Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Now, TheWrap reports that Lionsgate has teamed up with Actiview and deaf advocate Nyle DiMarco (a former Dancing with the Stars contestant and America’s Next Top Model winner) to make the live-action film Wonder compatible with the company’s app. It’s an apt choice, as the 2017 film, which stars Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, is about a child with facial differences braving the wilds of public middle school, which children living with hearing loss might be able to relate to.
The ASL interpretation of Wonder features DiMarco signing every line of dialogue, complete with his facial expressions, which are a critical part of sign language. The focus is on children’s movies, because even if they are fluent in their first language, ASL, they may be too young to read the captions that are available with some films.
To try it out, users simply have to watch Wonder on their TVs on whatever platform it’s available on, including DVD and Blu-Ray, and pull up the app on a second screen like a phone or tablet. The app then “listens” to the movie the same way Shazam “listens” to songs. The app then syncs up the movie with the sign-language interpretation.
Lionsgate also plans to release all four Hunger Games movies this way, providing audio description, multi-language dubs, subtitles, captions, and amplified audio. Actiview’s iOS app isn’t limited to helping people with hearing loss or deafness. Other accessibility features are for people who are blind or have low vision as well as those who require foreign language interpretation. This news, along with two new apps from Google, shows how technology is stepping in to help people with hearing loss navigate the world more easily.
This is huge. A step closer to making the entertainment accessible to everyone.
Also- honored to be the first to interpret the movie ‘Wonder’ in ASL.
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) February 12, 2019