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Future Tech: 

The future of cinema has arrived and it stinks

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The cinema seats are still rocking from the explosion as the smell of smoke streams into the auditorium. In normal circumstances moviegoers would be clambering for the exits, but this is anything but a normal experience. This is 4DX, the future of cinema where the action unfolds on-screen, but all the senses are as real as it gets.

The movie industry has been working towards a more immersive cinema experience for years through rumbling seats, IMAX and 3D, but 4DX from Korea’s CJ 4DPlex group is on a whole other level. As well as the full range of chair movements akin to a simulator ride, there are environmental effects including wind, fog, bubbles and, yes, smell. Sure, that might be a pleasant enough as a waft of coffee is pumped in during a café scene, but how about when an unholy pong rises up from Labyrinth’s Bog of Eternal Stench.

Now available to try in over 30 countries, 4DX technology was seen for the first time in the US last week, where it was trialled alongside Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Penguins of Madagascar, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I.

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Cinema-goers can press a button in their armrest to opt out of being blasted by water, but the bumps, shakes and rumbles of the seat itself are unavoidable. Just be careful where you rest your drink and, remember, hot drinks are not allowed.

A statement on the 4DX website explains: “Movies are now no longer bound by their visual and aural limits. 4DX is the next step in the movie-going evolution taking audiences on a journey into the full feature film. Free yourself from the confines of the flat screen and live the experience with 4DX.”

Whether you’re still skeptical or entirely convinced, you may get the chance to try it for yourself in the near future. 4DX plans to keep expanding in the U.S. and around the world. Watch this space.

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