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23 May 2006

TV in the real world - DVD films come alive

There's a lot of reality TV on these days and I've already blogged about changing their format into something more useful.

However, we think of reality TV as us sitting watching a TV and the TV showing us some people off the street in some situation or other, usually hopelessly contrived.

What about if rather than us watching the situation, the situation came to us? That would be Reality TV 2.0 in Web terminology.

Rather than us watching the film on TV, the experience of the film came to us?

How would we do this?

On a DVD and successor formats there is ample space for additional material that runs alongside the film in real time. For instance, subtitle options. This additional material takes up a tiny amount of the available space on the DVD and alongside text options, other simultaneous digital tracks could also be embedded.

These additional tracks could then be used to drive devices in the home, in sync with what was happening in the film.

Since only a tiny amount of information is required, these could be embedded as their own track or even included as part of the sound track but on an ultra low frequency. If it was on the sound channel, a device would then sit in between the audio out on the DVD box and the cable taking the sound to the speakers and intercept the low frequency audio and convert it in to commands to work wireless devices.

The possibilities include:

  1. In an earthquake film, your chair could shake.

  2. In a movie with driving, you could be in a seat that tilts in sync with the film (e.g. like a flight simulator). Similarly horse riding, etc.

  3. In a scary moment, the remote in your room could dim your lights in sync with the right part of the film.

  4. In an X rated movie, your adult toys or "marital aids" could operate in sync with what is happening on-screen.
The rest I'll leave to your imagination. Did the earth move for you too?

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