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4D Home Theater: The Next Big Thing?

Up to 200 U.S. theaters will be getting motion seats, water, mist, bubbles, air, fans, strobe lights and odors as part of "4D" technology. Will this make it to home theater?


Theodore Kim, COO of CJ 4DPlex, is hit with fog, one of the special effects the company creates for its "4D" movie experience. (Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times)
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So much for 3D. “4D” is already here. At least that’s what Hollywood is calling it, but will it ever make it to home theaters?

According to the L.A. Times, as many as 200 theaters in the U.S. will be equipped with motion seating, water, mist, bubbles, air/wind and odors to enliven the movie-going experience.

A South Korean company called CJ Group, which operates Asia’s largest movie chain, has already set up an experimental site in Hollywood to test the new system, which it calls 4DX, and is working on a deal with a U.S. chain for 200 theaters.

The system is already set up in 29 theaters in South Korea, Mexico and Thailand and has shown films such as “The Avengers,” “Men in Black 3,” “Avatar,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Prometheus.” Film-goers pay an extra $8 per ticket on average for the experience.

With elite services like Prima Cinema launching and motion seating from D-Box already available to dealers, this 4D technology certainly could be sold to affluent clientele.

The L.A. Times says the system includes motion seats, and tiny nozzles that spray water, mist, bubbles, air and odors from a collection of 1,000 scents, such as rose garden, coffee, women’s perfume, burning rubber and gunpowder. Giant fans and strobe lights are used to simulate wind, lightning flashes and explosions.

It takes 16 to 20 days to program the 4D effects into a movie, plus $2 million to design and outfit a theater.



  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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