HARMAN and AKKU (Association for Extended and Accessible Culture) kick off program in Hungary to extend access for the blind and partially sighted to be able to enjoy cinematic screenings and theatrical plays via enhanced audio
SZÉKESFEHÉRVÁR, HUNGARY – JUNE 22, 2017 HARMAN International, a wholly-owned standalone subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and AKKU (Association for Extended and Accessible Culture), a Hungarian cultural nonprofit, announced a partnership today to widen possibilities for blind and partially sighted communities in Hungary to enjoy films and cultural products designed for people with sight via enhanced audio narrations for cinematic releases and theatrical plays.
HARMAN, a company with a 22 year history in Hungary and HUF 390 billion turnover in 2016, announced the partnership following Make Music Day (June 21), an international celebration of music in 120 countries around the world which they celebrated with their 3000+ employees in Székesfehérvár, Pécs and Budapest.
"We launched this partnership with AKKU at a symbolic cultural moment to demonstrate our commitment to the Hungarian community and culture, where we have been operating for 22 years. Through our partnership with AKKU, we hope to elevate an underserved community by giving them more opportunities to benefit from cultural events," said István Kis, Managing Director and Vice President Hungary Operations.
As a first phase, HARMAN donated a professional sound studio to AKKU, which will serve as a co-working place, where blind and partially-sighted people can collaborate with professionals to create enhanced audio narrations for cinematic releases and theatrical plays. The first enhanced narration from the cooperation will hit select cinemas in September 2017. Further narrations for cinematic releases and theatrical plays will continue on a quarterly basis. "About 1 percent of Hungarian society, around 100,000 people suffer from lack of sight yet they enjoy the same activities as people with sight," said Ágnes Pethes, representative for communications at AKKU. "AKKU has been producing enhanced narration for this community over the past two years. With our new studio from HARMAN and their engineering expertise, we will be able to sustain our cultural quest for the near future."
The AKKU-HARMAN co-working studio was recently installed at UP Center in Budapest, using equipment from HARMAN's extensive portfolio of audio brands and audio engineering expertise. Users of the studio will benefit from a suite of professional equipment including AKG® microphones and headphones, DigiTech® switching systems, Soundcraft® mixing boards and a JBL® portable AV system.
"HARMAN Hungary has grown from producing a few audio components in our first factory in Székesfehérvár to being HARMAN’s largest manufacturing country in the world. We opened a second manufacturing facility in Székesfehérvár and expanded operations to locations in Pécs and Budapest where we recently established an international supply chain and procurement hub and car audio engineering hub," said Michael Mauser, Head of HARMAN Europe and President of the Lifestyle Audio Division. "We have a long history in Hungary and strong commitment to the Hungarian community. We are proud to support AKKU with our world-class audio equipment and engineering expertise to enhance equality in underserved communities across Hungary,"
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
AKKU (Association for Extended and Accessible Culture http://akkuegyesulethu.web-server.hu/) is a non-profit organization committed to serve the blind and partially sighted community in Hungary by creating enhanced audio narration for films and theatrical plays.
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