4-D movie theaters coming to US – water, wind, vibrations and odors to be expected

theater tests system displays audience texts big screen movieHow about it? You’re at the movies. An explosion goes off in the opening scene and your chair shakes with the intensity of the bang.

A few minutes later, the protagonist finds himself in the middle of a tornado, and you feel the full force of the wind in your face. As he desperately seeks shelter, your popcorn blows all over the place while the man’s toupee in front of you flies off toward the screen.

The film moves inexplicably to the deck of a passenger ferry listing in heavy seas; you get covered in water as an enormous wave crashes against the side of the ship. The lead actor heads inside, only to be confronted by hordes of seasick passengers holding paper bags to their mouths. An unpleasant odor fills the auditorium…

This is the kind of experience you could be about to get if plans to build 4-D movie theaters in the US get the green light.

According to the LA TImes, Asia’s biggest movie theater operator, South Korea-based CJ Group, is close to inking a deal with a major US chain to bring around 200 4-D movie theaters to locations across the country over the next five years. Plans are in place for the first 4-D theaters to open later this year in cities such as Los Angeles and New York. Tickets for a movie in one of the special theaters are expected to cost around $8 more than a regular ticket.

The 4-D cinema technology has proved a hit in Asia, where the technology has been in use since 2009. At a time when people are staying home to watch movies rather than venturing out, the industry is keen to explore innovative ideas designed to win back audiences.

“Theaters need to find new ways to bring people back to the multiplex and away from their couches, and this is one way of doing that,” Theodore Kim – chief operating officer for the Los Angeles lab of CJ 4DPlex, operator of the specialty theaters – told the LA Times.

Of course, the special effects can be worked into any movie, old and new, with a single film requiring about 18 days to program. Besides vibrating seats, there are nozzles that spray water at audience members as well. Odors play a part too, with more than a thousand different scents utilized to help bring the movie to life. Giant fans and strobe lights positioned around the auditorium are also part of the set-up.

Would the chance of a 4-D cinema experience be enough to get you off your sofa and into the movie theater? Or do you prefer to just use your eyes and ears when watching a film?

[Image: Mikhail Malyshev]

Emerging Tech

Regular Wi-Fi can accurately detect bombs, chemicals, and weapons in bags

Surveillance cameras and bag searches have become commonplace when it comes to security in public venues. But researchers may have found a different way to detect suspicious items: regular Wi-Fi.
Movies & TV

Latest 'John Wick 3' photo confirms the return of two powerful characters

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Home Theater

Any night can be a night at the movies with the best home theater projectors

Are you sick and tired of those cumbersome big screen TVs? Don’t want to spend big for a huge TV? These home theater projectors will bring you that big screen experience without breaking the bank.
Movies & TV

Was there a 'Captain Marvel' Easter Egg In 'Avengers: Infinity War'?

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Gaming

How to connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your PC

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Science says waste beer could help us live on Mars

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a new super-insulating gel, created from beer waste, which could one day be used for building greenhouse-like habitats on Mars.
Emerging Tech

Engineers have made a new type of lithium battery that won’t explode

While statistically rare, the lithium-ion batteries used in mobile devices have been known to burst into flames. Researchers from University of Michigan have been working to change that.
Emerging Tech

Genetically engineered bacteria paint microscopic masterpieces

By engineering E. coli bacteria to respond to light, scientists at the University of Rome have guided it like tiny drones toward patterns that depict Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk’s Boring Company wants to dig a tunnel to Dodger Stadium

Elon Musk's Boring Company wants to build a high-speed transportation tunnel connecting Dodger Stadium to a nearby Metro station. The system would run 150-mph passenger pods between the stadium and a terminus to the west.
Emerging Tech

Watch as a ‘lifeguard drone’ rescues a swimmer struggling at sea

These days, drones are finding a range of roles in a myriad of fields. Lifeguards, for example, are making use of the drone's ability to quickly deploy flotation devices while also offering an eye in the sky to survey the scene.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? Here are the best drones on the market right now

To help you navigate the increasingly large and ever-changing landscape of consumer UAVs, here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.