In Plymouth, U.K, movie watches you (and changes endings depending on your reaction)

many worlds

Our mobile editor Jeff Van Camp loves to watch movies more than once in theaters if he really likes it. It kinda makes sense… maybe there’s a scene he missed the first time, or portions of the film so mystifying, he had to see them again to decode. If Jeff happened to be in Plymouth, U.K. in the next few days, he’s going to want to watch Many Worlds at least four times. That’s because this movie has an alternate ending for every viewing, and decides between its four endings based on how the audience reacts during the screening. 

The 15-minute short film is described as a “bizarre physics experiment.” Before the film airs, four volunteer audience members will be strapped with small sensors to help measure their heart rate, muscle tension, brainwave activity, and how much they’re sweating. These data help the movie identify the interactivity level and mood so the film can select upcoming scenes accordingly. For example, if the audience members are feeling restless, the movie may insert intense, slow music to induce fear. Alternatively, if the screeners are bored, an exciting action sequence may appear to keep their attention. It’s basically a Choose Your Own Adventure-type film, except all the choosing magically appears according to the way your body reacts.

The film’s inspiration came after director Alexis Kirke said movies often test differently depending on audience in various countries. Since movies cannot be altered after they’re released, he had to figure out a way for the movie to adapt to its audience without having them physically do anything during the screening.

“How often do studios test multiple cuts of a film when early cuts fail? Or worst of all: they release a film into the general public to have half the cinema goers find it boring or unsatisfying,” Kirke says. “It would be great if the film plot or character could change if we were finding them boring … that’s exactly what Many Worlds does.”

Many Worlds will premiere at the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival on February 23. In case you were curious, the plot revolves around a physics student who traps herself in a “coffin-sized box” with a cyanide gas-capsule connected to a Geiger counter. Two friends find this girl, and… well, the rest, I guess, is up to what you think should happen. Will the two friends help her? Jump in? Kill her? You’ll have to watch to find out all four endings.

Emerging Tech

Beresheet crash caused by manual command, but reflector device may have survived

Details are emerging about what may have gone wrong with spacecraft Beresheet's failed moon landing. A manual command was entered which led to a chain reaction. But NASA still hopes to salvage use of its Laser Retroreflector Array device.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in May 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. May 2019 brings the Deadwood movie, the final episode of Game of Thrones, and the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 on HBO.
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (April 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best Black Mirror episodes are disturbing, mesmerizing, and provocative

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one movie, we selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Emerging Tech

The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. But strangely enough, this ancient molecule has never been detected in space before now.
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

Mercury’s wobble as it spins reveals that it has an inner solid core

Scientists have long wondered what the inside of Mercury looks like, and they now have strong evidence that the planet has a large and solid metallic core. The data for the new findings was collected by the now-defunct MESSENGER mission.
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!