Beyond Smell-o-Vision

I recently wrote about adding odors to movie screenings, but it was a low-tech, scratch-and-sniff solution. And it is totally eclipsed by a new venture coming out of Korea that looks to enhance your movie-going experience with a lot more than some simple scents. The company is CJ CGV, and it has created what it calls the CGV Smartplex cinema which uses the company’s “4Dplex” technology.

Yes, the system has a way to waft smells to the audience during the movie, but that’s just for starters. Emitters mounted in the seat backs can blast you with air, or send out a mist when a fog drifts across the scene on the screen. Individual speakers in each seat bring the action right to you. But wait, there’s more! The seats themselves can move, rocking in any direction in sync with the action on the screen. Add stereoscopic 3D and you’ll literally be ducking for cover as bullets whiz past your ear in the midst of a big fight scene.

The company has already built four of these sensory-overload chambers in Korea, and has plans to build one in New York City to demonstrate its powers to U.S. audiences. If they take to this more immersive cinema experience, you may eventually get to see, smell, and feel for yourself at your local movie theater before long. Then you have to ask, how long until this technology follows 3D and migrates to your living room?