Project: Interactive Cinema Experience through advanced storyboarding and mobile devices to BREAK the fun frontier

Within our leisure society, immersive and interactive activities benefit from a steadily growing interest and success thanks to the richer experience they provide and the group memories they generate. This is a striking trend in the industry of theme and attraction parks, where interactivity is currently supplanting thrill attractions while offering more varied experiences and a more rational use of energy (hence a lower environmental impact)._x000D_ _x000D_ Since 2009, moviegoers wordlwide enjoy a new movie experience thanks to 3D. Many theaters are now equipped with 3D and have seen an increase of visitors, but it is noteworthy that 3D (and 4D, i.e. with additional special effects) has already been found in theme parks for almost 15 years. Yet, with the advent of 3D television for home, one may fear that the renewed interest for movie theaters will soon fade out again, and that people will return enjoying Blu-rays at home on their newly acquired 3D set. _x000D_ _x000D_ However, movie theaters have more to offer: they are an ideally suited place for OUT-OF-HOME GROUP EXPERIENCE, and (can) play an important role in terms of SOCIALIZATION and face-to-face meetings between people in our fragmented and virtualized world._x000D_ _x000D_ ICEbreak aims at creating a one of its kind experience that will definitely set movie theaters as a unique entertainment and socialization place. All three aspects are important:_x000D_ - out-of-home: it must be different enough to justify people coming to the cinema, not just an upscale version of home systems._x000D_ - group: a key asset of cinemas is that many people are located in the same space. It is a unique opportunity to generate genuine memories of doing something together._x000D_ - experience: it emerges from a mix of emotions (through storytelling, quality of the settings) and satisfaction (notably through interactive means) in a long-lasting way._x000D_ _x000D_ Some attempts at such systems currently exist but fail to meet all three criteria:_x000D_ - Group voting mechanisms that influence the course of a movie across some pre-rendered linear segments exist since the projection of "KinoAutomat" at the 1967 World Fair. But majority vote is hardly a compelling group mechanism (it usually creates high frustration amongst the people whose decision was not shared by the majority)._x000D_ - Facade (2006 http://www.interactivestory.net/) has pushed the limit of interactive storytelling, showing how computer games can take a cinematic flavor. But it targets at-home, individual players. Some attempts exist (including patent depot WO 2010/019632) to bring multiplayer online video games into the movie theater, notably through public competition or 'grand finale’ events but it is only an upscale version of what gamers can do at home._x000D_ - In 2010, Film Deluxe (http://www.filmdeluxe.de/) has set an interactive movie as ‘case study’ for NBC Universal where, at key moments of the horror movie “Last Call” the cell phone of one viewer rings and she/he has to decide (thanks to voice recognition) what the hero has to do or not (such as turn left or right). It provides a real movie experience to the audience but with only a few happily-selected ones able to influence. This is not a full group-interactive show._x000D_ _x000D_ ICEbreak aims at creating a unique out-of-home group experience. To reach this objective requires the following challenges to be met:_x000D_ * Interactivity: innovative interaction for a GROUP of participants;_x000D_ * Content richness: REAL-TIME generation of quality (cinema grade) content._x000D_ _x000D_ All participants will use their handheld device (i.e. mobile phone) to have a second tier of viewing/interpreting the movie, onto which they can interact and influence simultaneously the view in their own device and the group view (+audio) on the CO screen._x000D_ ICEbreak also takes into account the specifics of the movie industry, aiming at feature films of about 90 minutes but, most importantly, having in mind production means that fit with the existing practices on the market._x000D_ _x000D_ ICEbreak is focused on the innovative experience. It does therefore plan NOT TO spend any time/money on new audio-visual equipment or techniques but will rather rely on standard equipment that already exists in movie theaters (2D or 3D, Dolby surround) for two reasons:_x000D_ - speed up the ‘time to market’ of the proposed product;_x000D_ - many research projects are already investigating such aspects, and they will be usable when they reach the market._x000D_ _x000D_ Similarly, the project does NOT aim at developing new interaction devices, but will use standard smartphones/devices. This offers the advantages of_x000D_ - focusing the project on its core added value: the experience and the needed software to make it happen;_x000D_ - developing generic and versatile solutions using standard protocols;_x000D_ - allowing easy deployment on the market: no major hardware investment involved, participants come with their own device (hence no hidden costs for lost or damaged devices).

Acronym ICEbreak (Reference Number: 6876)
Duration 01/03/2012 - 31/10/2013
Project Topic ICEbreak will create the technology and the content generation tools for enjoying interactive movies in the movie theaters. Highly driven by the market, the project will generate two public trials to further develop this new out-of-home group experience and assess its socialization impact.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 7

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
5 Telecom Sud Paris Partner France
5 Alterface SA Coordinator Belgium
5 Wizarbox Observer France
5 GameCo studios Partner France
5 XDC s.a. Partner Belgium