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Talking, littering and sexual debauchery have long since taken a back row seat to cell phone use as the most annoying insult to moviegoers, many of whom are trying to escape a world so addicted to phones in the first place. The “Please Silence Your Cell Phones” message before the feature starts seems like the most instinctively redundant demand besides the “Employees Must Wash Hands” restaurant standard, but people still don’t know when to give it a rest. A new Dutch thriller, however, is looking to make cell phones an integral part of the viewing experience.
The Dutch production company 2CFilm, in cooperation with Service2Media, created an app for Bobby Boerman’s App , which Variety reports will allow for an interactive experience while watching the film in real time. App, which stars Dutch actors Hannah Hoekstra, Robert de Hoog and Isis Cabolet, tells the story of a young psychology student who finds an app called Isis has appeared on her cell phone, and it begins to terrorize her life. You can check out the film's non-English preview below:
Modeled on the SynchNow audio digital watermarking by Civolution, App’s app detects the high-pitched watermarking tones and sends viewers text messages as the main character gets them, as well as reportedly accessing complimentary scenes and information aside from what’s being watched.
“App is revolutionary in cinema,” says Kees Abrahams, co-founder of 2CFilm. “It presents an exciting challenge to the way audiences think about the medium, and this deal means that it has the potential to transform cinema around the world.”
It remains to be seen whether this technique is a potentially game-changing complement to proper films, or if it’s just a trendy piece of novelty like William “The Tingler” Castle would have come out with in the 1950s. But at least it’ll give viewers something to do besides tweet about the previews. Check out App’s non-English preview below.