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D-BOX adds movie-motion to Scottsdale theatre experience


August 11, 2010
by PLANT STAFF

LONGUEUIL, Que.: Cinema patrons in Scottsdale, Ariz. will soon be able to see and feel film presentations thanks to a Quebec manufacturer of motion systems.

D-BOX Technologies Inc. will be shaking it up in UltraStar Cinemas’ new Scottsdale theatre with 26 of its D-BOX MFX seats. The cinema, to open in the fall, will be the San Diego-based theatre chain’s sixth installation.

D-BOX, a Longueuil, Que.-based developer and manufacturer of entertainment motion technology, uses effects specifically programmed for individual films, TV series or video games that are sent to a motion generating system synchronized with the onscreen action and integrated within either a platform or a seat.

The technology can be installed in commercial or home theatres with a basic set-up costing about $3,000 (including the chair).

D-BOX’s motion code, now available on more than 900 DVD and Blu-Ray titles, uses subtle pitch, roll and heave to move the viewer in any and all directions. The motion is scripted in two phases: frame-by-frame as action appears on the screen; and again to encode the intelligent vibrations the viewer feels based on the film’s audio track.

The system uses robotics with built-in motion actuators, pistons, low-friction motion devices and high-tech motors to produce two Gs of acceleration, allowing users to experience a movie’s ups and downs without experiencing motion sickness.

“After a full year of operating D-BOX’s motion system in my theatres, I can truly say this is a technology that has made an impact and a difference in our business. Our current installations successfully draw guests from miles around, and continue to generate additional income,” said Damon Rubio, executive vice-president of operations UltraStar Cinemas.

D-Box currently has installations in the US, Japan and two in Canada: Cinema Beloeil, in Beloeil, Que., and Cineplex Queensway in Toronto.

UltraStar operates 120 screens at 13 sites throughout Southern California and Arizona.
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