Advertising app that sends sonic messages from the big screen has cinemas asking: Please switch on your phone

A prototype of the 'cinime' experiment using Ben and Jerry's ice cream as a sponsor, enabled audience members to win free tubs of ice cream

The order to "switch off your mobile phones" has become almost as much a part of the film-going ritual as buying hot dogs and popcorn.

But the cinema, perhaps having resisted the growth of phone technology more than any other form of entertainment venue, is finally capitulating to the public's demand to continually interact with mobile electronic devices.

Nearly 200 cinemas across Britain are currently experimenting with an initiative that encourages them to download an app to their mobile phones in the foyer and then play an interactive quiz when they get inside the cinema.

The "cinime" app has been developed by the Digital Cinema Media group in conjunction with PlayStation and allows for advertisers to send offers to filmgoers as their phones pick up sonic messages from the big screen.

A prototype "cinime" experiment using Ben and Jerry's ice cream as a sponsor, enabled audience members to win free tubs of ice cream. In the current promotion, film-goers who correctly answer film-related questions on the "cinime" app are able to win buckets of popcorn.

Simon Rees, the CEO of Digital Cinema Media – which provides advertising to chains including Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – said that the technology needed to be managed to ensure that the use of phones was not detrimental to the enjoyment of other film-goers.

"Your expectation of the cinema is something special and everything we do has to enhance that experience," he said, but there was "an opportunity for studios, cinemas and brands to engage with the consumer before and after the film".

The "cinime" initiative is also intended to encourage audiences to take their places early, playing interactive games that begin ahead of the trailer reel. Rees insisted that the film itself should remain "sacrosanct".

But cinemas may find it hard to resist mobile media's encroachment into the film.

Disney is already encouraging audiences to use interactive devices while watching films. In September, it held a promotion in the US where movie-goers were encouraged to bring iPads to watch the re-release of 1989's The Little Mermaid. They watched the film while simultaneously playing "Second Screen Live: The Little Mermaid App" on their Apple devices.

Interactivity in the cinema has been talked of for some years, but has struggled to catch on. Last Call was a 2010 German horror film that asked willing members of the audience to enter their mobile phone numbers on a speed dial database so that, at a point in the film, they could be called to choose from a variety of options facing a key character.

With the growth of "second screening" while watching films on television, it seems many people can no longer simply just sit and watch a film. Earlier this year App, a Dutch interactive horror movie, claimed to be "the first second-screening film". App required the cinema audience to download a free app to their phones and interact with it as the film played. Its storyline? A psychology student is hopelessly addicted to her smartphone.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

    £30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

    £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick