4DX, Does New Technology Meet Today’s Cinematic Experience?
4DX Hands-on Experience
The motion picture theater industry is playing catch up with new advances in technology. This is no surprise. At the current market, there are different platforms vying for the next stable model for consumers to digest content. For illustration, present business models are Video on Demand services which includes satellite, cable and there is also online contributors. In this advancing age, how can cinemas raise the stakes to fill vacant seats?
South Korean based company CJ 4DPLEX of the CJ Group may have established a solution to increase ticket sales. The company unveiled a revolutionary technology titled 4DX. This concept transports moviegoers into the film using stimuli that include senses of smell and feel. To elaborate, the 4DX technology uses 3D enhancements and includes seat motion, wind, rain, fog, lights, and scents.
Enid Artuz, DecayMag Co-Founder and I experienced our first 4DX theater adventure on October 7th, 2017. Our chosen film was Blade Runner 2049. With its rainy backdrop and flying cars, this film offered enough incentives to establish the 4DX technology to evaluation.
Keep in mind that all 4DX experiences require 3D glasses. Our movie attendant failed to circulate our glasses because he too was uncertain of how the technology worked.
1. Seat Motion
This part of the experience is nothing unique. Several amusement parks provide this element with specific themed film productions. My first encounter with seat motion technology was a decade ago at Six Flags. I embrace this immersive component to 4DX. In my viewpoint, out of the roster of incentives, this aspect added to the viewing experience. The movements are precise to action sequences and garnered reactions typical of a rollercoaster ride.
The seats are comfortable and spacious which can accommodate persons of different statures. These seats are slightly elevated and a pull-down foot platform does help to get on board these lush cushioned seats. In my opinion, a recliner is the best comparison to describe these seats.
While this portion of the 4DX experience enhances mood its use seems irrelevant in colder climate areas. In warmer climate cities a nice burst of breeze would be most accepted. In colder regions, this concept may receive a poor reception. My observation may or may not be the case.
In our experience, the mini turbines made a disturbing noise when activated. This too presents a complication, upkeep. If the turbines are not functional the overall experience will be crippled. This venture then becomes an enormous gamble. 4DX can blow hot air and can work without the wind component.
At first, we felt startled by the geyser discharged on us. Both the wind and water were cold did not produce an appropriate pairing. I found the rain component to be a nice added touch. For those dreary stormy scenes, the rain effect was a nice touch. One highlight is the on/off feature. Opting out of this feels thwarted if a neighboring moviegoer has the mechanism turned on. Another point is how vexing it was to wipe down our 3D glasses after each rain effect. This is a minute problem factor against the major overall experience.
4. Fog, Scent
The least annoying part of the experience was the fog and scent effects. Both were subtle in delivery and managed not to disrupt the film viewing. A gaseous vapor ejects from spouts placed at the foot of the stage. The fog does add a layer of realism when viewing the film with 3D glasses.
As for the scents, it was barely noticeable to weigh an impactful analysis. The viewing room did have a strong yet pleasant fragrance and this was before the film began.
5. Final Thoughts
Overall the 4DX experience had its advantages and disadvantages. As a result, opinions will vary. In my conclusion, 4DX technology will be short-lived. This does not to suggest 4DX does not have potential. CJ 4DPLEX needs to channel the 4DX experience for next generation of visual platforms, VR.
Many consumers consider VR content to focus towards gamers, this is incorrect. Film and animated series are in development. In our podcast published July 2nd, 2017, we examined an upcoming animated series titled Raising A Rukus. Build for the Oculus device Raising A Rukus too added the seat motion technology 4DX uses.
VR and 4DX would produce an ideal pairing. Imagine the possibilities! Our current movie viewing experience is too antiquated for new technology. Moviegoers will not sway with ease to wind gusts and drizzle. Add a heightened, more personal experience through VR and only then can patrons walk out of cinemas feeling a new level of experience.