Mobile cinema app launches barrier-free version

Movie-streaming mobile app Smart Cinema, an online complement to brick-and-mortar cinemas, on Tuesday launched a barrier-free version for people with visual disabilities.

The new version, developed with the assistance of the China Association of the Blind, allows people with visual disabilities to watch barrier-free movies on their mobile phones for free after logging in and completing an identification process.

Barrier-free movies feature descriptive audio or subtitles that explain the footage to people with visual or hearing impairments. Hundreds of such movies have been produced in recent years in China.

“The barrier-free version of Smart Cinema takes advantage of mobile Internet service and turns a mobile phone into a device for watching barrier-free movies,” said Gao Qunyao, CEO of Smart Cinema, adding that it will help bring barrier-free movies to a broader audience.

The app can also check the system settings of mobile phones and automatically shift to the barrier-free movie-watching page for users who have already turned on the barrier-free functions of their mobile phones.

Launched in May 2018, Smart Cinema’s streaming schedule for newly released movies is synchronized with the big screen listings and its ticket sales are counted as part of China’s box office totals.