Turkish phone operator develops a movie app for the visually impaired. Edward Baran reports.
A new app is allowing blind or visually impared moviegoers to enjoy the show too. Users can simply launch the app before the screening of a film and plug in their earphones to receive full audio description. Developed by Turkish mobile operator Turkcell, the app was launched at a gala screening of new film 'Kiss of Life'. The head of the company's division for disabled people is visually impaired herself, and says the technology is a world first. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) HEAD OF TURKCELL DIVISION FOR DISABLED PEOPLE, GAMZE SOFUOGLU SAYING: "With our app those scenes that used to be missing are being depicted and this app makes those scenes visible for visually impaired people. Today, I can watch the movies with the app with audio description and I can have a more pleasant experience without missing any scenes." SOUNDBITE (Turkish) VISUALLY IMPAIRED MOVIE-GOER, KERIM ALTINOK, SAYING: "We had audio description for every scene and every second with no problems. I listened to it easily and I enjoyed it very much." The movie's star and director Ali Sunal was also happy to see visually impaired moviegoers enjoying his work. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) LEAD ACTOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE MOVIE 'KISS OF LIFE', ALI SUNAL, SAYING: "I am very happy that 'Kiss of Life' was chosen for this project. I came here with great excitement. It is an enormous pleasure to see that the audience can fully understand everything I wanted to depict. It is great to see all the obstacles are removed." Turkcell's app is a free-of charge service available to all customers of all operators in Turkey. The cellphone operator says it expects it to be used by 800,000 visually impared citizens in the country by 2016.