City Touts App That Helps Those With Vision, Hearing Issues Enjoy Theater

October 10, 2018 - 6:34 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The de Blasio administration is teaming up with an app maker to help New Yorkers with hearing and seeing issues better enjoy theater.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, it is hard to enjoy the sound of music, or the sound of “The Sound of Music,” if you have hearing issues.

GalaPro is an app that uses voice recognition technology,” said New York City Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin.

Menin said her department is putting forward $100,000 to help off-Broadway and other smaller theaters pay for the cost of running the GalaPro app.

“It’s specifically developed for theater and live performances to provide real-time closed captioning, amplification, and translation,” Menin said.

All of that will pop up on a theatergoer’s phone, and while that sounds like a bit of a nightmare – all those people with their phones open – GalaPro emits no backlight and the captions show up in either pink or gray.