Theatre in Paris: augmented reality opens theatres to non-French speakers

/ / Augmented reality @en

You love theatre and dream of Paris, but your French is not good enough? The Team of Theatre in Paris found a solution to this problem thanks to augmented reality, with an idea that could be the revolution in the theatrical world.

The project is still being tested and at the moment is active for few plays, with a reduced number of devices and seats; practically, with the help of augmented reality smart glasses, the viewers can see “surtitles”, written translations of the plays superimposed above the stage. With this system, even the non-French speakers or those not having a native knowledge of the language can go to the theatre and enjoy the plays.

Carl de Poncins, co-founder of Theatre in Paris, said: “We are a service that is dedicated to the expatriate and foreign community, as well as tourists, allowing them to overcome the language barrier and experience Parisian life as a Parisian would.”

He explained he had the idea watching the bored tourists at night: why don’t make them part of Parisian night life, in which theatres are a big part?

There’s also a personal experience part in his idea, since he added: “While I was studying abroad in Oxford, I went to a Shakespeare performance and after a few minutes, said: what is ‘thou’? I know that even if you speak another language well, it’s sometimes hard to understand and get the most out of their theatre.”

Theatre in Paris’ smart glasses have been created in partnership with the digital service company Atos and the eyewear company Optivent, and the surtitles project, at the moment available in 6 different languages, has been presented last summer to the Avignon Festival. For now the service is reserved to tourism professionals and English-speakers, but de Poncins hopes that 2016 will be a great year for its development.