Applications Blog

Captioning Themed Attractions like Dark Rides and Theaters

Captioning is reinforcing audio experiences with text.  This provides an alternate experience for these which are unable to hear the audio or perceive the language being spoken.  We see this idea used on a regular basis on TVs in noisy bars or busy airports.  Perhaps you’ve even kicked again on your sofa to observe a overseas movie with subtitles in your native language.  This idea works properly if in case you have a video display, a selected language, and a stationary audio source.

Unfortunately, what works for bars, airports, and dwelling rooms doesn’t all the time do the trick in themed points of interest.  When you contemplate a dark experience, each guest travels by way of a rigorously crafted expertise.  They go from queue line, to pre-show, to load platform, and then to the journey expertise itself.  Throughout their journey, audio might come from many sources in addition to video screens.  The visitor may encounter a speaking animatronic character, safety announcements in corridors, or background sounds to reinforce the themed surroundings.  We should also contemplate that each visitor has unique wants.  Forcing captions upon those that don’t need them might distract from their expertise.  Friends with listening to disabilities will need to see captions that describe the audio experience.  Worldwide visitors will favor to see dialog translated into their native language.

How can we enhance the expertise of every guest with special needs with out affecting the experience of others?  Easy!  We provide them a transportable gadget that is conscious of their location in the attraction and can ship captioning uniquely fitted to them.

This guide demonstrates the way to create a system that delivers Augmented Reality (AR) captions to friends inside a dark experience attraction.  Since Alcorn present control units like the V16Pro and RidePlayer are aware of show timing and audio all through your complete experience, they are the splendid techniques to stream the captioning knowledge.  Captions are then delivered to the friends based mostly on their wants and location utilizing a seamless mixture of iBeacon know-how, Epson Moverio sensible glasses, and the Birket Engineering InThrall app.

As you possibly can see from the appliance diagram, we’re going to implement captioning for a darkish experience attraction.  Dark rides involve separate methods for managing areas like queue strains, pre-shows, and particular person experience automobiles.   The thought is that each system is chargeable for streaming its personal captioning knowledge by way of WIFI Multicast.  For example, a experience system with a pre-show and 20 experience automobiles would contain no less than 21 simultaneous multicast streams of captioning knowledge.  When the guest steps into the preshow area, the sensible glasses will sense their location and “tune-in” to the Preshow captioning stream.  When the visitor boards a car, the glasses will tune in to the captioning stream for their car.

System Elements

Let’s take a look at the gear we’ve designed into this experience system and study concerning the position it performs within the captioning expertise.

RidePlayer – Onboard Synchronous Audio Player and Show Controller

This product is designed to endure the high-vibration environments of experience automobiles and to offer many features to scale back the necessity for auxiliary gear aboard the car. A few of the key options embrace 16 channels of polyphonic audio playback as well as onboard show control.  Different helpful features like DSP, amplification, network audio, voltage monitoring, and GPS integration are all rolled into a pleasant compact, rugged, and power environment friendly package deal to make this product the last word onboard audio and management answer.

For this darkish journey software, a RidePlayer is installed on every experience car.  This gadget links with the experience control system and coordinates with the offboard show control techniques.  This ensures an onboard audio expertise that synchronizes perfectly with all the show parts happening across the car.  Captioning knowledge is added alongside the audio tracks in a present management timeline so that they’re streamed in good time with the audio expertise.

V16Pro – Show Controller

The V16Pro is chargeable for present control in the preshow area.  It is absolutely programmable utilizing our free WinScript Reside software program and remotely controls all of the gear in the pre-show.  This consists of triggering AV playback in the AV Binloop Uncompressed unit.  It also consists of streaming captioning knowledge that’s synchronous with the preshow AV presentation.

A/V Binloop Uncompressed – Multi-channel Synchronous Video Player

The purpose of this unit is to offer Three channels of 1080p60 uncompressed playback for a 3-screen experience within the pre-show space.  Content is stored on solid-state media drives as uncompressed Targa sequences.  This product bodily connects to each display gadget utilizing a 3G-SDI connection to offer video with out the necessity for extension units.  This gadget additionally connects to the V16Pro by way of Ethernet in order that video clips could be performed at the applicable time and synchronized with other units within the system. This gadget synchronizes with the V16Professional so captions streamed from show management can be in good time with the AV presentation.

Epson Moverio BT-300 – Sensible Glasses

This can be a sensible system that runs the Android OS and features in an identical manner as tablets and sensible phones.  The important thing distinction is that the display output of the gadget shouldn’t be a touch display, however somewhat a projection that appears inside the wearer’s area of view.  This concept is also known as Augmented Reality (AR).  When the display is black, the wearer can see right by way of the glasses.  On this software, we use this know-how to show captions inside the guest’s line of sight whereas allowing them to see the setting around them.


These units are clever transponders based mostly on Bluetooth LE know-how.  Sensible units like tablets, telephones, and sensible glasses can sense when iBeacon units are near and learn unique info from them.  For this software, this distinctive info incorporates a multicast IP tackle associated with captioning knowledge for a selected space.  iBeacons put in in the pre-show area will share the multicast handle for preshow captions (  IBeacons put in on the experience automobiles will share the handle for that car (,, and so on.).

Birket Engineering InThrall – Captioning App

This is an software developed by Birket Engineering that may run on any Android-based gadget; including the Epson Moverio sensible glasses.  This app is liable for combining the performance of the sensible glasses, iBeacons, and captioning streams from Alcorn McBride units right into a seamless captioning experience for the guest.

InThrall runs routinely when the glasses energy up.  More often than not, a black display is displayed so that the guest can see right by way of the glasses and enjoy the attraction.  When an iBeacon is sensed, the app tunes into the multicast handle specified by the iBeacon and begins displaying captions for that area.  The situation, measurement, and colour of the captions are versatile and are determined by the programming of the captioning knowledge.

WIFI Community Infrastructure

The Epson Moverio glasses depend upon a WIFI community to receive captioning knowledge.  This requires an infrastructure of community switches, routers, and wireless bridges to make sure WIFI distribution all through the attraction.  Needless to say WIFI is just required for glasses to receive captioning knowledge.  Different kinds of wireless or wired networks may be extra suitable for integrating units like journey control techniques, present management methods, and AV methods.

Show Management Programming

The captioning for this attraction is carried out with two present control scripts; one for the V16Professional operating the Preshow and one other for a RidePlayer onboard one of many journey automobiles.  The V16Professional is chargeable for streaming captions meant for visitors in the Preshow space, and the RidePlayer will stream captions for visitors onboard the identical journey car (RV).

These two scripts have been included with this software observe and are appropriately named:

AR Captioning – Preshow.WS4

AR Captioning – RV.WS4

Though Alcorn McBride goes by means of nice effort to make this programming significantly simpler than many other control techniques, there is a studying curve with using WinScript Reside, the V16Pro, and RidePlayer. To study extra about this interface, we provide free coaching in the form of interactive in-person courses and online courses.  We additionally provide many software notes like this one that show the right way to use our merchandise in numerous purposes.


An incredible first step when writing any script is to configure the listing of units that can be related to the present controllers.  This includes searching a comprehensive listing of units within the WinScript library by producer and model quantity, choosing the gadget, and then configuring the physical connection to the gadget (i.e. Ethernet, Serial, and so on.).

The Preshow V16Pro should management the AV Binloop Uncompressed and stream captioning knowledge to the InThrall app by way of a singular multicast tackle (

The RV RidePlayer should stream captioning knowledge to the InThrall app on a special multicast handle (

Sequences – Preshow

Sequences are the guts of the present management script and include all of the useful occasions which might be programmed.  A lot of the sequences of the Preshow V16Professional are dedicated to tasks like beginning or stopping the present, controlling parts of the show such as the doorways, and monitoring present status.  The precise present itself is handled inside the Timeline_Preshow sequence.  This is additionally the only sequence that’s essential for captioning purposes.

Once we take a look at the occasions inside Timeline_Preshow, we see a video monitor representing the playback of the preshow presentation.  Under, there’s a group referred to as Captions that incorporates a number of Ship Caption events.  These are used throughout the timeline in order that the captions are transmitted at the applicable time through the preshow.  The timing of these captions can simply be adjusted by dragging the events or modifying the execution time on the left.

Sequences – Journey Car

A lot of the sequences within the RV script are devoted to triggering timelines for the varied scenes inside the journey in sync with the offboard methods.  To study extra about these concepts, you’ll want to take a look at our software notes devoted to Dark Rides.  This software will only concentrate on the sequences that pertain to captioning.

Right here’s what the RV sequences look like:

All captioning within this script is contained inside the Timeline_Scene sequences.  The Timeline_Scene sequences are timelines that set off audio playback onboard and transmit captioning knowledge in sync with the audio monitor.  The audio monitor appears within the timeline as a ribbon that represents the length of the clip.  Just like the Preshow timeline, you’ll discover a Captions group containing Ship Caption occasions that transmit captions at the applicable occasions throughout the scene.

Configuring iBeacons

Though iBeacons are a standardized know-how, the configuration interface of those units is usually distinctive to their manufacturer.  Because of this the tactic by which the iBeacon is configured might look a bit of totally different than this instance, however the same key concepts will nonetheless apply.

iBeacons have configurable values referred to as Major and Minor which might be shared with nearby sensible units.  The InThrall app is designed to affiliate these fields with a Multicast IP handle.  The thought is straightforward.  If the sensible glasses get close to an iBeacon, the Major/Minor values of the iBeacon inform InThrall which multicast tackle to take heed to for captioning knowledge.  All you might want to do is be sure that these fields are configured for a similar Multicast IP handle that the present control system is using to transmit captioning knowledge.

Right here’s the way you configure the Main ID and Minor ID fields to configure the multicast handle:
Multicast handle = AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD
Major ID = (AAA*256) + BBB
Minor ID = (CCC*256) + DDD

Right here’s how you’d configure the ID’s to use the default multicast handle
Major ID = (224*256) + 0 = 57344
Minor ID = (0*256) + 1 = 1

Configuring Sensible Glasses & Birket Engineering InThrall App

The Epson Moverio sensible glasses are an Android-based system.  Linking the glasses to the WIFI community of the attraction is only a matter of launching the WIFI settings in the Android OS.  From here, you possibly can scan the obtainable WIFI networks and connect the gadget.  Once configured, the system will hook up with the WIFI community mechanically each time it powers up.

Subsequent, it’s essential to install the Birket Engineering InThrall app.  InThrall is a licensed app that have to be side-loaded onto your Android gadget.  Please contact Birket Engineering for extra details on obtaining the app and licensing:


When you attain this level, all you might want to do is launch the InThrall app.  The display of the gadget will go utterly black, permitting you to easily see by way of the glasses.  It should tune into Multicast handle by default and begin scanning for iBeacon units.  If an iBeacon system is detected, it is going to learn the Major/Minor values from the iBeacon and tune in to the related Multicast handle.

This software observe can serve as a place to begin in implementing captioning with your personal software.  Needless to say it’s straightforward to scale the system to include as many or as few captioning sources as you want.  In truth, you don’t even require the iBeacons in the event you solely have a single captioning source.  You’ll be able to merely program your Alcorn McBride show controller to Multicast captions to InThrall’s default handle.

Now it’s time so that you can implement your personal venture with the V16Professional, RidePlayer and the AV Binloop Uncompressed.  Please don’t overlook that we are right here that will help you so be happy to contact us with questions.