Going to the cinemas is not the quiet atmosphere that it used to be. In between rude patrons constantly talking throughout the film, today's viewers are prone to texting and using social networking throughout the movie, angering anyone who is actually there to simply enjoy the film. But now cinemas in China a trialing a technology which is about to take in-film distraction to a whole new level of annoying…
This comes in the form of a system called ‘danmu’ - a scrolling feed of bullets which film watchers can send messages to. This feed is projected on top of the film’s screen and allows users to comment on the while as it plays. These messages would be sent from a mobile device and then would only appear on screen for a limited period of time.
If this sounds like your worst nightmare, then you wouldn’t be alone.
If this sounds like your worst nightmare, then you wouldn’t be alone. The environment for passive consumption of films, as well as the immersion which this brings would probably be completely shattered by other moviegoer’s inane comments. What's more, it is likely that cinemas would also find a way to slip ads into these feeds, as if in-film product placement wasn't already enough.
While this is a terrible idea for most films, it actually is better to look at it as an entirely novel entertainment product, separate from traditional films. The social atmosphere and active participation generated by such a feed, might actually create an entertaining and funny environment to share not just with your friends, but also other people you have never met. This would also make each viewing unique, and variable dependant on the audience.
Despite this, we still fear the day that this tech ever reaches our shores…
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