‘2nd Screen’ Innovation Alters The Dynamics Of The Cinema

For years cinema goers have had to switch off their mobiles or run the risk of being thrown out if caught using a mobile during the film.

People understand the cinema as a space that is devoid of technology, where you can fully immerse yourself in the film without annoying text alerts and distractions. However a new horror filmApp has completely altered the cinematic experience.

The Dutch film from Bobby Boermans encourages the audience to install a free app for their smartphones to use during the movie. In using your smartphone in this way ‘2nd screen’ technology is introduced into the experience.

Although this sounds technical it basically means that you will interact with your mobile whenever the main protagonist on screen does.

When main character Anna Rijnders receives a text message or phone call you yourself will also receive the same message and call. According to the director “the story feeds the app and the app feeds the story,”

This is perfectly in keeping with App because the story follows Rijnders after her friends die mysteriously when they come into contact with an unusual new app called IRIS.

For anyone who’s a fan of Space Odyssey the creepy app in the movie is like a cross between Hal and Apple’s Siri voice activated assistant.

Of late smartphone apps are always in the spotlight with varying levels of controversy, at least App is a more light hearted debate than the argument that has broken out over a recent app that ‘cures’ homosexuality.

Despite the innovation of ‘2nd screen’ interaction the makers of App assure cinema goers that the film is just as enjoyable if you can’t use your smartphone.

However it begs the question that, if the film is just as good without the novelty add-on, why bother with it in the first place?

It seems unlikely that cinema audiences in America or the UK will have the opportunity to throw in their personal experiences and opinions of the film due to the fact that it has only been released in the Netherlands.

That being said, if the ‘2nd screen’ gimmick takes off, US and UK viewers might be experiencing a whole new way to watch movies.

However what will happen if it does take off seeing as Google Glass has already placed a ban on pornography? Will apps used in cinemas also ban sexual content?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]