“There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.” -Caroline Kepnes
Though we haven’t launched quite yet, we’ve recently invited a select few users to test out Actiview in person. When they arrive at the theater, we give them an early look at Actiview, delivering descriptive narration for the visually impaired, and assistive audio and captioning for the hard of hearing, all in one app. We’ve been thrilled with the response and feedback and it’s been fueling us to continue our goal of providing the best possible experience for movie access.
We’d love to share a review with you from one of our first testers ever, a respected journalist and advocate for the Bay Area disability community:
I am legally blind, and like many others with a significant, subtle, or even imperceptible disability, I’ve gotten used to suffering through movies, missing crucial bits of action. I’ve learned that audio description solves a lot of these problems, but sadly, most theaters aren’t good at providing description. When that happens, blind people lose faith in the theaters and walk away; Theaters lose money, and people with disabilities continue to feel socially isolated and marginalized.
Then out of nowhere comes Actiview.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been at the theater this past month for Actiview’s first full feature film test – and I can say with 100% confidence that Actiview has created an experience that somehow, mind-bafflingly, doesn’t yet exist anywhere: a way to plug into preexisting projection systems and deliver people the assistive tracks that already exist (hearing and vision) in a single app, seamlessly and without any extra hassle.
I could list off all the things great about it, but what’s most remarkable about Actiview is all the things it’s not. There’s no confusing interface, no dead batteries, no wonky radio frequencies, no nasty device that’s been in a dusty drawer or somebody else’s lap all day. It’s all your services in one simple app. The sound is clear and unblemished, the latency is practically nonexistent, and the UI is so simple you forget you’re even using an app. Phone in pocket, enjoy the movie. That’s it.
All this adds up to a lot more than just a pleasant experience: Actiview maintains your human dignity; ensures that you won’t miss a moment of the action to get set up; allows you to go into a theater, get exactly what you came for, and not have to waste your time or convince a confused third party working for the theater that they’re doing it wrong. This is the future, and it couldn’t come a moment too soon.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want to go back to the old way – and I’m betting the masses of blind, deaf, aging and other populations with disabilities who are already talking about Actiview will likely agree. Once you realize that these tracks already exist, and can be delivered easily, cheaply and precisely through Actiview, you just can’t justify settling for poor excuses, rip-offs and compromises that currently define the market for inclusive entertainment. Bravo to Actiview and all the strides it has taken in such a short period of time, I can’t wait to see where this takes us.
– Will Butler, LightHouse for the Blind