Interactive Cinema is Here …
And it’s blurring the boundary between audience and screen that has stood firm since cinema’s dawning more than a century ago.
This new form of cinema is being pioneered with technology created by the iCinema Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia.
In contrast to conventional cinema, where viewers passively watch a singular linear story unfold on a flat screen, iCinema’s T_Visionarium allows viewers to explore and edit a multitude of stories, in three dimensions, on a 360-degree fully surrounding screen.
“Digital media systems offer extraordinary new opportunities in terms of creative expression and experience,” says iCinema’s Director, Jeffrey Shaw. “Our objective is to enable people to take on innovative and critical roles in the way they engage with audiovisual media.”
To achieve this, artists and engineers at the University of New South Wales have created the world’s first 360 degree sterescopic projection cinema. It is AVIE, or the Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment. A 120-square metre circular screen surrounds the audience and provides the environment for an wholly “immersive” three-dimensional cinematic experiences. AVIE allows audiences to wander at will through the projection space without having to sit in a fixed location as in a conventional cinema, interacting with the projected information as if they are really there.
Viewers wearing three-dimensional glasses step inside a cylindrical cinema screen measuring four metres high and 10 metres in diameter. Twelve digital projectors create a high-resolution stereoscopic 3D image on this screen, and the audio is spatially enhanced via a 24- channel surround sound system.