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 & Style blogs
iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
The face of fertility: why do men find women who are near ovulation more attractive?
'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
Google has set its terrifying, dreaming image robots on the public
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Amber Roof: Sister of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof launches fund-raising appeal for wedding and honeymoon
- 4 Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
- 5 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...