New “surround video” projection experience looks to create immersion

by Bob Deutsch

Gravity hits the Open Space.

Technology that provides truly immersive experiences is an ongoing quest for those in the industry.

For those looking to create a fun cinematic experience or event, it’s always worth examining the different efforts in development to increase immersion and bring films out of the movie screen. A recent demonstration at a London film event showed off what might be another possible wave for movies to ride in the future, an experience the creators call a “glassless 3D” effect  that utilizes projections in order to enlarge an image.

The demonstration was conducted by Alia Sheikh, working for a division of the BBC, who showed an animated film called “Kill Mode” at a recent event in order to display the capabilities of this “surround video” technology. It works by augmenting the capabilities of a smaller screen with a projection of specially filmed material, so that additional content is seen in the areas around the central image. In addition, it takes advantage of the way the eye processes images by putting more focus on those parts of the image most likely to be detected by the center of the viewer’s eye.

“If you looked out the window now you could see the view out the window and still be aware of the view inside your room, because your eye is amazing, your brain is amazing. But the edges of your vision would be much more sensitive to any movement and the centre of your vision would be better at detecting details. This means a display that goes right to the edges of your vision would not necessarily need to be as high resolution as the centre of the display.” Speaking in a piece on Imperica, Sheikh emphasized the potential uses for and desirability of this kind of experience.

“The surround video technology is there. You could do it right now but it just comes down to whether or not it’s something people will want,” he said.

Stateside, Microsoft has allegedly been developing something similar for Kinect users called IllumiRoom.

While not every single advancement will be immediately accessible to those looking to host a major festival or event, organizers can use the emphasis on immersion to guide their decisions when selecting equipment, such as highly visible outdoor movie screens.

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