4D Experience: sensory immersion into films

A few weeks ago I spent a few days in London prior to attending the SDNC in Cardiff, and I got the opportunity to go to the “London Eye 4D Experience”…  It was pretty awesome!So, having had such a good experience I decided to do some extra research and share some of my findings with you:  first of all, a 4D Experience can include some special effects such as rain, wind, strobe lights, bubbles, snow, special smells and vibration or movement, which give a physical and tactile experience to the regular 3D presentations we generally know of, all of these elements must be in perfect orchestration to create a more lively experience that can blur the boundary between reality and fantasy.
It was interesting to know all of the aspects that were taken into consideration to create the experience for the London Eye, it was commissioned to “Merlin Entertainments”, which is only second to Disney in terms of size of a global entertainment company.  They wanted to create an emotional experience that was not dialogue dependent, given the number of tourist from all over the world who visit the attraction, so Phil Streather devised a little tale about a your girl on a sight-seeing trip to London with her dad…  The whole experience lasts only about 3 minutes and 45 seconds; to complete the process from the idea to the opening it took a little over a year to make, in order to make sure all the details were in place and working properly, with an investment of $8.19 million.

Around 160 visitors will pass through the 4D Cinema every 8 minutes, and it’s become a must see in London when visiting for some people, specially because it’s free (included with your regular London Eye ticket).
There are a few companies that are in this business: SimEx!Iwerks (who developed the London Eye Experience) and 4DX (part of the South Corean CJ Group); the latter has plans to venture into about 200 US theaters in the next 4 years, after the success they had with Avatar in South Korea, with the inclusion of these types of effects (tickets sold out even if the price more than doubled the regular one).
So, what this tells us in the end is that people are looking for more engaging experiences, and the more senses you involve with the experience the richer and better it will be.
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