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.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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

    Recruitment Genius: Support and Development Engineer

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Designer

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Gazetteer Consultant

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy