retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting story over the weekend about how technology is affecting the movie business ... and not just bigger screens and better sound.

Dolby, which has specialized in sound systems, has developed "a laser-guided projection system that brings a higher level of realism to what moviegoers experience in theaters — making viewers, literally, feel the heat or whatever else they are watching on screen.

"Laser-powered projectors. Sound that bounces around the theater. Seats that vibrate and even project mist. The century-old motion picture exhibition industry is in the midst of a technological revolution, deploying the latest in audio and visual research in a bid to attract younger audiences and stay relevant in the digital age."

Or to put it another way, they need to give people "a reason to leave their fast-expanding entertainment options at home."

(People of a certain age will find this amusing. I remember that when a Charlton Heston movie called Earthquake came out in the mid-seventies, they made a big deal about a technology called Sensurround that made it feel like there actually was an earthquake taking place. I think they only used it one other time...for a George Segal movie called Rollercoaster. but it wasn't nearly as sophisticated as the stuff they're describing now.)

You can read the story here .... and it is an Eye-Opener, in that it has a certain relevance to bricks-and-mortar retailers who are looking for reasons to get people to come to the store and not simply use Amazon, Jet or some other e-commerce site.

It doesn't have to be lasers. In a supermarket, it might just be a really great smelling bakery that makes a cinnamon roll that no online store can duplicate.

But it has to be something. Because just doing things the same old way simply isn't good enough anymore.

In movies. In retailing. In product development.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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