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James Cameron’s Titanic was re-released in 3D this week, inviting critics to trot out familiar arguments about the pointlessness of the technology except as a means to jack up ticket prices and wring a few extra dollars out of devoted fans. But a South Korean company is already anticipating the next cinematic accoutrement for moviegoers to complain about: 4DX, an interactive experience which simulates the conditions of a film’s environment.
Not unlike D-Box Technologies’ motion-simulation seats, 4DX features chairs that pitch and roll according to the motion of the action within the film. But it also includes such features as “short bursts of sharp air” and “face water” to put the viewer in the middle of the on screen environment. Presumably the volume of these atmospheric flourishes is modulated – or else Titanic fans may find themselves struggling to see the film during the ship’s climactic descent into the ocean.
CJ 4DPlex Co. launched 4DX in 2009, and is using the technology to enhance the viewing experience of The Hunger Games, John Carter and The Avengers in addition to Titanic. The company hopes to reach more than 800 auditoriums by 2016.