Future of Entertainment: Introduction to Multi-Dimensional Entertainment

Future of Entertainment: Introduction to Multi-Dimensional Entertainment

The Future of Entertainment series by iQ by Intel and PSFK Labs is highlighting the latest in entertainment innovation. Over the course of 10 weeks at iq.intel.com, we are showcasing new products, services and technologies, exploring the changing face of how we consume, share and create content and getting reactions from Intel experts.

Whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV, a recent research by Google highlights the fact that 90% of all media interactions today are screen-based. And what’s more, many of these interactions involve using more than one device at the same time. While the TV might still be the king of the living room, it’s doing it with the help of its smaller-screened friends. The same study showed that in a typical day, 77% of TV viewers are using another device simultaneously.

Think about yourself, how many devices do you currently own and use regularly? Three? Four? More than five? As we begin to carry and interact with an increasing number of screens and interfaces, we’re consuming more and paying attention to less. With their audiences already divided between multiple activities, content producers are looking for creative ways to use this same ecosystem of devices to build compelling entertainment experiences that span screens, focusing our attention once more.

For our Future of Entertainment Series, we will look at a trend called Multi-Dimensional Entertainment that explores the ways creators are leveraging the unique capabilities of multiple devices to build more holistic and engaging stories. These experimental forms of narrative are moving content beyond the boundaries of a single screen to create multi-platform experiences that involve audiences more deeply in their favorites movies, games and television shows.

As a way to envision what this future might look like electronics manufacturer Samsung’s Second Screen Storytellers contest invited creatives to develop programming that took advantage of a viewer’s second screen like a smartphone or  tablet in an effort to enhance the storytelling experience. In a company press release, Eric Anderson, Vice President of Content and Product Solutions for Samsung Electronics America explained the idea behind the contest, saying “We know that increasingly, consumers watch TV with a tablet, laptop or smartphone in hand – yet these experiences are still generally disconnected. Our goal with the Second Screen Storytellers contest is to see how the experience can be improved when content is produced with a second screen in mind from inception, rather than retro-fitting after production.

The winning entry was a pilot titled D-TEC, which integrates first and second screen action in a futuristic sci-fi thriller. As characters in the show interact with technology such as retinal scanners and digital displays, relevant content appears on a viewer’s smart device, bridging the TV and mobile experience to help immerse audiences in the action.

While it’s never been more important to hook audiences with great primary content, keeping their attention often requires supplying captivating supplemental content which consumers can access independently with their own secondary personal devices as well. These multi-layered stories give casual viewers the lean back experience they’re after, while providing fans the ability to get more immersed.  

In line with this trend we find Haunting Melissa, a horror movie about a young woman who is disturbed by ghostly apparitions after her mother passes away, which is delivered to viewers in the form of an app. Not really a film and not exactly a TV show, the app connects with viewers in an entirely new way. For example, the content is not rolled out according to a set schedule, and episodes could be 5 days apart or 5 minutes apart. Likewise, an episode could last 30 minutes or just 30 seconds. The idea is to play with the traditional broadcast format, and develop an engrossed audience who actively follow the content from their mobile devices on the go.

This type of multi-screen entertainment continues to evolve as content developers get a handle on how to craft these experiences to add to the overall viewing experience, whether that be information and experiences that sync with programming, game-like elements or real-time audience interaction. In the week ahead, the Future of Entertainment series will be taking a closer look at other examples that fit within the Multi-Dimensional Entertainment trend, looking at how creators are helping us experience media across all of our devices.

As we revisit the Inside The Story theme in the coming weeks, we will show you examples of how developers are breaking new ground on deeper levels of immersion meant to bring viewers into a story and heighten the sensorial experience. Stay tuned to iQ by Intel and PSFK for daily updates to the series.