Belfast Telegraph

Now films can change to suit your emotions

Pioneering technology which detects the reactions of cinema audiences will be unveiled in Belfast in a world first next month.

Biosuite can electronically screen the emotions of a group of viewers to control the content they are viewing, thanks to a discreet hand sensor which monitors a person's heart rate and skin response.

The experimental mix of technology and scientific research is a collaboration between Belfast-based pro- duction company Filmtrip, San Francisco-based technology company BioControl Systems and the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen's University in Belfast.

The reactions of the audience have an effect on the scene selection, music score and sound effects of the film they are watching and lets them influence the unfolding story.

Biosuite technology will be demonstrated publicly for the first time in a groundbreaking live experiment in Austin, Texas as part of the world- famous South by Southwest festival.

The US experiment will be followed by a screening at the Sonic Laboratory at SARC, which boasts the world's only 48.1 surround-sound system, as part of the Belfast Film Festival in April.

Gawain Morrison, producer at Filmtrip Ltd - which has made a special film called Unsound to premiere at the demonstration - said that the potential of the project is boundless: "We wanted to use Filmtrip's expertise in creating deeper levels of audience experience to extend the reach of emotional response technology into visual media.

"It's been an enlightening journey so far. By creating a film to test Biosuite, we have found ourselves exposed to a whole new world of possible future applications in this new field of technology."

Dr Ben Knapp, of BioControl Systems, said: "The next generation of digital media interaction will use a direct emotional interface as the key new channel of communication.

"The fundamental business opportunity is to capitalise on this requirement for new media interfaces by providing an entirely new and different mode of interaction - individual and group emotional state controlling the content narrative."

To register for a limited place at the screenings of Unsound on April 10, 11 and 12, email biosuite@filmtrip.tv

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