New 7-D cin­ema steals the thun­der in Shang­hai

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By MATT HODGES in Shang­hai matthew@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Seven Won­ders of the World, seven-star ho­tels and now, ac­cord­ing to its cre­ators at least, wit­ness the ar­rival of 7-D cin­ema com­plete with hand­held guns, ma­chine-cre­ated bub­bles, and a few early glitches.

Shang­hai Qing Yu In­tel­li­gent Sys­tems En­gi­neer­ing claims to have come up with the con­cept and plans to com­mer­cial­ize it lo­cally this fall.

The com­pany is run­ning a pilot ver­sion at the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Science and Art Ex­hi­bi­tion, which kicked off on Wed­nes­day and runs un­til Mon­day.

The con­cept re­mains a lit­tle vague and may be just a clever mar­ket­ing ploy even the com­pany’s pro­ject di­rec­tor con­fessed to not know­ing what one of the D’s rep­re­sented

but it more closely re­sem­bles a theme park at­trac­tion or mul­ti­ple-user ar­cade game than a screen­ing at your near­est mul­ti­plex.

In ad­di­tion to 3-D specs, ro­tat­ing seats and smoke ma­chines, which have gar­nered luke­warm reaction as the­aters world­wide ex­per­i­ment with films in 3-D and 4-D, 7-D has plas­tic ray guns and shoot-’em-up style ar­cade games.

“3-D is purely vis­ual; 4-D is mostly about move­ment, that is, vi­brat­ing and ro­tat­ing seats; 5-D is more sen­sual, such as thun­der and light­ning, wa­ter splashes and changes in tem­per­a­ture,” said Ray Zhang, who works for the com­pany. “There is no 6-D, ac­tu­ally. And 7-D refers to the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween man and ma­chine.”

Lo­cal me­dia ac­counted for the lost di­men­sion by re­fer­ring to the in­ter­ac­tiv­ity be­tween users on- screen, but it was un­clear how this dif­fers, if at all, from reg­u­lar mul­ti­player games.

Mean­while, the web­site of Peo­ple’s Daily re­ported on what sounded like sim­i­lar 7-D cinemas open­ing in Bei­jing in March, and in Zhoukou city, He­nan prov­ince, in July.

The lat­ter fea­tures elec­tronic guns and the sim­u­lated ef­fect of wind, rain, thun­der and snow “as though you are a char­ac­ter in the movie,” it said.

“This is like the next evo­lu­tion of com­puter games. It takes that as a ba­sic foun­da­tion, but up to 50 peo­ple can (po­ten­tially) en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence at once. I feel that it’s more like a movie than a game,” Zhang said. “We can also tai­lor this at­trac­tion in dif­fer­ent ways for dif­fer­ent clients.”

The com­pany has in­vested 5 mil­lion yuan ($817,000) in the pro­ject and will open its first out­let to the pub­lic some­where in the city’s Jiad­ing dis­trict in Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to Zhang.

One 15-minute “movie” or ride will cost around 50 yuan per per­son. “If the mar­ket re­sponds well, we’ll ex­pand.”

At Shang­hai Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter on Wed­nes­day a long line had formed around a spa­cious black cube. In­side, six peo­ple bucked around on what looked like a bor­rowed roller coaster car in front of a large screen.

They were is­sued elec­tronic glasses and video-game guns on the way in, asked to choose from one of three “movies” (10-minute com­puter game an­i­ma­tions rang­ing from pi­rate at­tacks to air raids), and as­signed char­ac­ters. Af­ter­wards, each was awarded a sep­a­rate score.

The at­trac­tion opened at 9:30 am and within two hours only one of the six guns was still work­ing due to dam­age done to the elec­tronic ca­bles.

“Come back to­mor­row and have a go,” said an ex­hibitor man­ning the exit door.

Shang­hai lo­cal Mark Chen, 12, said the ex­pe­ri­ence was “richer and more en­joy­able” than play­ing on his Xbox, de­spite the tech­no­log­i­cal hic­cup, but still fell short of ex­pec­ta­tions. “The 3-D ef­fects were okay, but the gun didn’t work. It felt more cin­e­matic than game­like, be­cause there wasn’t enough in­ter­ac­tion.”

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

An au­di­ence has fun with so-called 7-D cin­ema on Wed­nes­day dur­ing the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Science and Art Ex­hi­bi­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.