Who doesn't love going to the movies? It's the perfect entertainment choice for everything from first dates to a night out with your kids. Watching movies at home is fun, too, but seeing your favorite films up on the big screen is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Could that experience actually get even better? Right now, going to the movies is a passive experience. You sit in the theater and watch the movie for few hours and, if you're like me, munch on some popcorn.
That could be changing sooner rather than later. What if you could actually participate in the movie you're watching along with the rest of the crowd? How would you like to get in on the action and become a part of the next big blockbuster?
Interactive movie technology has the chance to make every viewing experience truly unique because it can let the audience help guide the film. No two audiences are identical, so every group would see the movie in a different way.
Is this kind of experience possible? A company called Audience Entertainment thinks so.
You know the motion-capture technology that game-system makers like Nintendo and Microsoft use to make playing on their consoles even more fun? Imagine that, but much, much bigger.
Audience Entertainment's iD system works with a theater's projection equipment to make advertisements, movie trailers and even parts of the films themselves interactive with the audience. There's a series of cameras and microphones around the auditorium that link to a server connected to the projector. Audience Entertainment has also partnered with digital projection company Barco to make setup easy for theaters.
That means certain movies could have prompts asking the audience what should happen next. Then, everyone could stand up and make gestures to control the action. Audience Entertainment is already testing out case studies around the country. In one study, the iD technology let audiences control Donald Duck as he rode down a water slide in an advertisement for Disney Cruise Lines.
I can't wait to see how this technology progresses. Of course, it won't be for every film. No one wants to play games in the middle of the latest Oscar contender. But, this could be a really cool way to make comedies and kid's movies even more fun.