Open Access Smart Capture


Open Access Smart Capture aims to improve the accessibility for theatre goers with visual or hearing impairments by deploying new immersive technologies.


The National Theatre has successfully pioneered the provision of always-on captioning for deaf patrons using new speech-following technology and augmented reality glasses. But there is still scope to deliver a complete range of immersive access services for theatregoers who need additional content to get the most from a theatre performance.
The National Theatre, along with development partner SYNAPSYS, embarked on this project to see how to implement a broader range of access services to theatre patrons on demand. Open Access Smart Capture: Immersive Accessibility in Theatre sets out to explore a range of support options including British sign language interpretation, foreign language captions and audio description for visually impaired viewers. They then test the tools to ensure they are user-friendly and comfortable.
The main objective is to ensure the project’s learning can be shared with other theatres in London, the UK, and elsewhere globally to ensure theatre everywhere is more inclusive and accessible for all.

Target Audience

The main market is theatre goers, particularly those with hearing or visual impairments.


The Royal National Theatre will continue the project as planned as soon as audiences are allowed to return to theatres. They will reconfigure the project according to current and future circumstances, and UKRI and the Audience of the Future programme will continue to support them throughout their reconfiguration.


Tabitha Allum


Content – VR, Content – games & gaming, Tech – mobiles & tablets, Tech – wearables







Actual sector

Arts, entertainment and recreation

Potential sector

Arts, entertainment and recreation



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