With home entertainment so good that you really don't need to leave the house, movie ticket sales in 2017 were lower than they’ve been for 25 years. So movie studios and theater chains are having to come up with new ways to get people in seats. Now, one of the more inventive methods we’ve been hearing about has finally come to fruition.
According to Variety, Insidious: The Last Key movie-goers at Cineopolis’ VIP theater in Mexico were the first to don haptic vests that allow for “full-motion, sensory effects.” Developed by Sony Corp., Sony PCL, and Sony Pictures, the vests recreate a sense of touch and feel in real-time engagement with what’s happening on the screen. So you’ll literally be feeling all the film’s feels (sort of in the same way a smartphone’s touch feature works).
Though it's a Universal Pictures movie, Sony is one of the Insidious’ major distributors worldwide, so it makes sense it would be the guinea pig. Well, technically, the tech was first shown in action as a short-form immersive experience based on Sony’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter back in 2016 at the CineAsia tradeshow.
Cineopolis is the fourth biggest exhibitor on the planet, and extended priority invites to press, loyalty members, contest winners, and “social influencers. Sony says that response to the test was “strong enough” to merit additional haptic screenings, but no word yet on when, or where, those will be.
Insidious: The Last Key — the fourth in Leigh Whannell’s supernatural horror franchise — finds parapsychologist Dr. Elise Raineir (Elise Rainier) dealing with Further frightful hauntings, but this time it’s personal. Now imagine how much more haunting that sounds if you’re literally being poked and prodded in conjunction with the scary parts.
What do you think, does haptic technology sound like the new wave of the future, now that 3D fatigue is setting in?