Shake, Rattle and Roll at the Cinema
High-end home theater owners might not be the only ones who'll get to experience D-Box motion-simulation chairs. Some commercial theater owners are considering adding these electromechanical rides to their theaters. For most folks, they were way too expensive to consider for personal use. However, they're known for being quite convincing.
The Canadian company will be unveiling a new version of the chairs, designed specifically for commercial theaters.
How does it work?
Instead of just random shaking and vibrating, the company creates a custom computerized "script" for the chair, to control the servos and motors. The chair movements are synchronized down to the frame, with up to 124 different movements available for every frame.
It's doubtful that theaters will install this without charging a premium, but with ticket sales declining, it's just one more way to bring movie-lovers back to the theater.
"The introduction of this new Motion system sets the stage for D-BOX to enter into a new
promising market segment. The movie industry is constantly looking for new ways to offer
consumers value-added and unique experiences, while seeking to increase their potential
revenues" stated Claude Mc Master, President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies. "The next step
for us is now to continue negotiations with studios and exhibitors in order to bring a first feature
film to the big screen, representing a worldwide premiere featuring audio, video and motion
experience (AVM) for the benefit of consumers. This is a goal that we expect to accomplish by
the end of 2009".
They're talking about using this for major motion pictures in theatrical release, but many Blu-ray discs include the D-Box Motion codes, so this could spur sales of Blu-ray and the chairs for home use as consumers want to duplicate the theater experience at home. Might even give the Magic Fingers box a run for its money. -Leslie Shapiro