ScreenX could be the three-screen, 270-degree future of cinema experiences, and it's here now
Imagine watching a film that completely fills your field of vision, bullets whizzing past your head or sneaky bad guys trying to escape and being spotted in the edge of your vision. That's what's already become a reality and it's dubbed ScreenX.
The three-screen cinema, which has one on the left and right of the viewer as well as in front, offers a 270-degree viewing experience. The technology was developed by the CJ CGV theatre operator and is currently being used in Korea.
The only problem is that films must be shot in this new format so they can have the full effect. That means using three cameras at once in a line, but that isn't entirely a problem as it means the director can cater for that extra viewing angle. For example, periphery vision is better at picking up movements so intense scenes could be punctuated by fleeting shocks from the corner of the viewer's eye.
The first film to be shown using ScreenX tech is aptly named, The X, a half-hour spy thriller directed by Kim Jee-Woon which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival.
Interesting uses of the format in The X include a car chase tracked in hyper-wide panorama, and a phone call with the participants on either side split by a central screen.
Outfitting a cinema with ScreenX capabilities costs between £85,000 and £115,000. CJ CGV has 40 ScreenX set-ups in 22 cinemas around Korea. Let's hope it sells plenty of tickets so we can see it arrive in the rest of the world soon. Although IMAX has a similar set-up with its Dome screens, and they haven't grown in more than a decade so we're not holding out much hope.