The new world of immersive entertainment5 minutes
When cult-classic television mystery series Twin Peaks launched its revival in May after a 25-year absence, one thing was clear: Audiences wanted a new role.
After all, in 1992 when Twin Peaks went off the air, mobile phones were clunky devices, almost the size of a bread loaf, going for about $1,400. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg had just turned age eight, and Apple was pushing its Newton MessagePad for the first time.
Twin Peaks harbinger
A quarter of a century later, watching a television series is no longer a passive, one-hour-a-week activity. Audiences actively leverage technology at their fingertips, and experiment with emerging innovation, to shape the way they see shows and other entertainment. In the months leading up to the Twin Peaks’ revival, fans began sharing their own theories across all social media channels, engaging in complex games played online and real world, in which people collectively solved a series of puzzles, riddles, and treasure hunts and doing the same kind of detective guess work as the show’s characters.
Sophisticated, fast-moving consumers
Staying ahead of these engaged, powerful consumers with new technology and ideas falls to multimedia professionals, who will be sharing experiences and emerging technology at InfoComm in Orlando this year.
With new display technologies, for instance, businesses can create media that integrates into the personal experience of a consumer’s everyday life. In the case of projection technology or panels for digital signage, we don’t just hang panels on the wall anymore. We want to create an experience around that image using the wall, panel, projector or mapped object as a canvas to tell a story that also connects to the personal experience of the guest, the observer or customer.
Establishing uniquely personal moments
This means we have to tie a consumer’s personal experiences together with their media. This can be achieved through technologies such as their phone using apps like LinkRay or their web experience tied in with their location. By gathering data such as location, age and preferences, the technology can aid, even modify the content they’re watching to create a new experience.
At Panasonic, we call this “connected solutions,” but it is really connecting the guest or customer to the media in a way that is relevant to them.
From static placard to tailored experience
Take, for instance, the opportunity for a museum to expand a visitor’s experience by analyzing that visitor’s data to provide axillary information on a piece of art based on that person’s age, background and particular interest in early 20th century folk art. By customizing this information, the museum has the opportunity to engage the visitor far beyond the standard placard on the wall next to the artwork, which is a much more passive experience.
For an organization, the benefit of this engagement can be everything from brand awareness to increasing commerce.
The excitement for these new developments is the way in which it allows for an entirely new type of creativity to drive the technology into customization. New relationships are forming between fans, technology and the story writers—the hidden figures who create the games, the tales and the experiences. Integrating all of these elements creates new possibilities for the viewer, and fresh challenges for the makers behind the scenes, who are no longer penning anecdotes on placards, but engaging in a kind of dance with the consumer as the story evolves.
About our expert: Ron Martin is Vice President of Panasonic Hollywood Lab in Los Angeles.