The Difference Engine has been developed to provide portable access solutions, particularly for small-scale companies who produce site-specific or experimental work, outdoor shows, work performed in promenade or in-the-round, or performances in unusual or non-traditional spaces.  It delivers captions to audience members’ own mobile devices – and we are also developing audio description, multi-channel captioning (for – amongst other things,  translation),  programme content and more. It is not reliant on a WiFi connection, and where needed it can be run off a battery pack when there is no available power supply.

Using/hiring the Difference Engine

The Difference Engine is currently available to hire for captioning events. The system is easy to use: the company producing the show edits their script into caption-sized chunks of text and adds in any other description of sound effects, then uploads this to the Difference Engine system. Audiences access the captions via an App (available from the App Store and Google Play) or through a browser connection. We will run demo/training opportunities at different points in the year: a bespoke session for your organisation can be arranged if you have a number of staff needing to attend.

Please contact if you are interested in hiring the Difference Engine.  Please tell us when your performance/tour is planned for, where it will be happening,  how long it runs for and a little bit about your company and the show.  We will contact you to confirm availability and to discuss hire rates: these are currently subsidised as we continue to develop and test the system, and all hirers are asked to support this ongoing development by actively targeting D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences, and seeking feedback from them.


Support for current company users

Companies currently using the Difference Engine can access support documents & resources here.  We are developing a number of new resources (e.g. around marketing to and welcoming D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences) and will add these to the site as soon as they are available.

Testing partners – audio description and translation

We are also working with a small number of companies and venues to support more in-depth testing of the captioning, and to test new features – such as audio description and multi-channel captioning – which can be used for providing translation, but could have many creative uses too.  If you think this might be of interest to your organisation – read more on our Testing page.