Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will be the first Canadian release to make use of new technology that translates on-screen action into movement that audience members can feel through their seats.
If you've been to a movie theatre in the last year or two, you've no doubt noticed the increasing number of 3D movies that are being shown.
The main reason for this is that 3D represents an experience that, for now, is only available to people who go see movies in theatres. That's key for the theatres as they try to find ways to lure audiences back into their seats. With an expanding array of hi-tech choices for the home, this is more than offering thrills, it's a matter of survival.
But the theatre industry isn't stopping at 3D. The next stage in the evolution of the movie theatre experience is being developed and marketed by a Canadian company called D-BOX. The future of movies is movement.
For several years, Quebec-based D-BOX had been producing high-end gaming rigs used primarily for race simulators. Their core technology is combination of actuators mounted to the chassis of a chair or driver's seat and specialized software that interprets the action on-screen and produces a corresponding movement.
Now, after a trial launch in the U.S., that same technology is coming to the big screen. Known as the D-BOX Motion System, it will be debuting at the Cineplex Odeon Queensway in Etobicoke – the only Canadian theatre, at least initially.
Starting with the release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on July 15, movie goers in southern Ontario will have a chance to "feel" their movies. No word on when or if this movement technology will be combined with 3D, or when additional theatres in Canada will offer the D-BOX experience.