Audience Entertainment SDK Will be Interactive Fun to Movie Theaters
Audience Entertainment believes the future of entertainment is not in linear content delivery, but rather in making the entire experience enjoyable and engaging, right down to the ads. The technology they’re developing allows for interactive content in movie theater ads, in which the collective audience actions effect the action on the screen.
Their first interactive ad was launched back in 2011, and was called Aquaduck, an ad for Disney Cruise Lines in which the audience helped guide Donald Duck through a waterslide which mimicked the one on the actual cruise line, collecting Donald tokens along the way for points. HD cameras pick up the activity of the audience members, who in that case, were required to sway their arms from side to side to move Donald through the tube. The collective actions of the audience determine the actions onscreen, so 5 people swaying right would overrule 3 people swaying left, but as soon as more were swaying left, Donald would oblige with the majority.
For now, the interactive elements would likely only be used for the ads preceding the showing of the feature presentations. In time however, it could be that movies themselves begin incorporating interactive elements into their films, especially for children’s movies. It could be that audience participation could even impact the direction the movie unfolds in.
Movie theaters are not the only venues that Audience Entertainment sees as being well suited for their interactive content. Sporting events and music concerts are two other potential events where interactive content could not only be added, but where it could play a much more prominent role, since it could be used throughout the event, rather than only during the opening ads. Consider a baseball game, where the interactive content could be deployed between every half inning, keeping fans engaged, and perhaps even giving them or their sections chances to win prizes based on performance. Or consider a concert where the crowd could add musical accompaniment or effects of their choosng by their actions.
Audience Entertainment is now preparing to release an SDK of their technology, which will put their interactive tools in the hands of more developers, and hopefully bring those elements to more movie theaters, and in many creative ways. While the games and actions to control them will likely never be much more than just swaying your arms or jumping around, it could be just enough to make ads and other events just a little bit more entertaining and memorable.