New short film to allow for biological user feedback to influence movie as it is watched

by Bob Deutsch

A new experimental film seeks to utilize biological feedback to help determine how it is shown.
A new experimental film seeks to utilize biological feedback to help determine how it is shown.A new experimental film seeks to utilize biological feedback to help determine how it is shown.

In a time when the future of the entertainment industry is on many minds, ongoing innovations appear in the world of cinema all the time, with many trying to guess the next zeitgeist. British composer Alexis Kirke has a vision for a newer kind of sensory technology to increase audience interaction with what they’re watching on movie screens. Whatever the result, it’s an intriguing development that could potentially signal an upswell in interest in this type of “hands free” apparatus.

Kirke’s film is called “Many Worlds,” and it bills itself as “the world’s first bio-controlled live action movie.” While watching it, the viewer is monitored by a system called ICubeX, and the images displayed change based on different reactions.

On his official site, Kirke waves away any comparison to video games and emphasizes the very practical application of this technology, allowing for easier reading of test audience expectations and, perhaps, a better film.

“It would be great if the film plot or character could change if we were finding them boring,” he says. “The difficulty is, we’d want it to change without us doing anything! So somehow a movie has to read our mind while it’s being shown – impossible, right? Well actually no – that’s exactly what Many Worlds does.”

The technology operates by detecting biological feedback, like brain activity, sweat and muscle response. “Many Worlds” has four different endings, but ideally the movie would choose between them based on the readings it received from its audience.

With a project as ambitious as this, it’s always difficult to predict what the final result will be, or whether it could be integrated with other technologies, like outdoor projection. However, the mere fact that this experiment is being undertaken displays a level of creativity that might be worth remembering as it continues through production.

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