In order to develop innovative new products, Sennheiser has been conducting audiological research for more than 40 years. The audio specialists, based in Wedemark, Germany, introduce their latest products every year at Prolight + Sound. One product that is guaranteed to be making an appearance in Messe Frankfurt in 2015 is Sennheiser’s very latest piece of cutting-edge technology: CinemaConnect. Audio experts Sennheiser see this novel live-streaming system as an opportunity to make culture accessible to everyone. Exactly how it will work was demonstrated just recently in Hamburg’s Abaton cinema.
The way CinemaConnect works is simplicity itself: cinemagoers connect to a specially set up WiFi network via a free smartphone app. Live-streaming gives them real-time access to additional soundtracks for visual descriptions or assistive listening, making it possible to experience the film via headphones.
Sennheiser’s CinemaConnect available from autumn 2014
Sennheiser’s top specialists have been working on CinemaConnect for more than three years, in direct collaboration with user groups. “For people with restricted vision, it is essential that the app is not too complex so that they can operate it easily,” explained Dr Jürgen Trinkus. Chairman of Andersicht e.V. [Seeing Differently], a German support group for sufferers of visual impairment, he was closely involved in the development of the app. “I am blind and have been working in the field of inclusive design for some time. The development process of Sennheiser CinemaConnect emphasised easy operation and fantastic usability from the beginning.”
Using its ‘Location Finder’, the app also helps users find nearby cinemas and films that offer the streaming technology. This will draw from an extensive database, which is currently being developed by Sennheiser and will be available by autumn 2014, concurrently with CinemaConnect. However, Sennheiser isn’t resting on its laurels: subtitles for sufferers of hearing loss are planned at a later stage, and the streaming of audio in different languages will also be possible in the future.
Picture sources: Sennheiser