D-BOX: Enhancing the cinematic and gaming experience

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You’re sitting at the movie theater excited to enjoy the the latest installment of the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, suddenly your chair sways side to side and lurches forward as an army of Death Eaters chases you through the sky. You twist, turn and pass the clouds dodging the attacks from the Death Eaters and He-who-shall-not-be-named right along Harry Potter himself. You are not hallucinating. You are just experiencing the latest technological advancement to enhance your cinematic experience—D-BOX Motion Code™.

Hitting theaters nationwide are specialized, cushioned seats manufactured to move in sync with the action unfolding on the big screen, immersing the viewer further into the world of the film. I was offered the chance to check out D-BOX for the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I a few weeks ago at San Diego’s Ultrastar Mission Valley Cinemas in Hazard Center.

Upon entering the theater, I was a little apprehensive since I’m prone to motion sickness (bumpy car rides, Cloverfield and Call of Duty are not my friends), but I was still enthusiastic about trying the new technology. Luckily for me, I found out viewers can choose the intensity in which they would like their chair to move along with the movie and even have the option of turning off the motion entirely.

Instead of lowering the level, however, I increased it to its full potential and actually wished it would have moved even more. D-BOX Motion Code™ has the ability to hypnotize and energize the audience even further than the 2-D image would allow on its own. The chair swayed from side–to-side mimicking the movements of Voldemort’s snake Nagini, shook as Harry and Hagrid crashed next to the Burrow, and jerked as Dobby disapparated from the Malfoy Manor. I felt like I was right there in the action with Ron, Hermione and Harry as they battled Bellatrix LeStrange and destroyed horcruxes as I felt the physical effects of the scene because of D-BOX chair.

Unfortunately, D-BOX Motion Code™ does require a bit of extra cash in order to live the action, about $10 more than the average movie theater ticket. While the price is a little steep, it isn’t much different from the price of paying for the IMAX experience, except instead of a massive screen, the D-BOX viewers get to go along for the ride. Theaters offering the D-BOX experience may also have the demo set up in the lobby for guests to check out the action before deciding on the ticket upgrade. Think of it as something along the lines of the Disneyland-Indiana Jones amount of action and movement minus the ridiculously long wait in line surrounded by whiny kids. Having had the opportunity to see the film in IMAX as well a few days later, I must admit I missed not having my chair move with the movie.

While waiting to enter the world of the Deathly Hallows, they showed the trailer for the upcoming Tron:Legacy, set for release on December 17, 2010, which will also be released in D-BOX Motion Code™. The sequel to the original Tron (1982), Tron:Legacy appears to be an action-packed feature film full of epic fight scenes within a digital world—a perfect choice for the D-BOX experience.

I definitely enjoyed having my introduction to D-BOX Motion Code™ with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, and I definitely would indulge in the experience again, possibly as soon as Tron: Legacy premieres. The D-BOX site reveals the ability to purchase the specialized chairs for home theater and gaming use, which would bring car racing games to a whole new level—a thrilling theatrical event right in the privacy of your own home. I can only imagine that fusing D-BOX with IMAX would provide full immersion into the cinematic realm—a truly life-changing experience yet probably not very affordable.

Head over to UltraStar Cinemas to live the action yourself and reserve your theater seat now. Check out the extended video explaining how D-BOX Motion Code™ works to bring you a special entertainment experience:

Photos courtesy of Katrina Cabral.

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