A French startup has developed a device, much like D-Box cinema seats, that brings movement to your couch when watching movies or games. Initially launched at CES last month, Immersit is now live on Kickstarter to fund production costs.
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The aim of Immersit is to make movies and games more immersive, providing the user with a greater connection to what is happening on-screen by way of action-appropriate jolts, tilts and vibrations. The system comprises four pads, which slot under each of the couch legs, a central unit that controls the movement of the pads and a power pack.
Software is used to identify what movie is being watched. For movies that are already in its database, a "motion code" is loaded and movements synced up to the on-screen action. Several hundred movie motion codes are already said to have been created.
For movies that have not yet had a motion code created, the system translates on-screen action into movements and vibrations. The motion code is then verified and, if required, modified by members of the Immersit team to ensure accuracy.
Immersit is also compatible with PCs and a number of consoles, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. So far, there are motion codes for over 120 different games.
The pads move along three axes, allowing them to create pitches, rolls, heaves and vibrations, as well as to move users back and forth, from side to side and up and down. Immersit says there are over 1,000 movement and vibration combinations, the intensity of which can also be adjusted.
"Some movie scenes just deserved to be experienced as if they were real, thus we wanted to build a product that would greatly enhance the home cinema experience," says company founder and CEO Valentin Fage. "Our goal was to make a device that would be used without any integration or modification, safe and invisible and that would have the power to lift a couch and its users."
At the time of writing, pledges on the already-funded Kickstarter start from €179 (US$199) for an Immersit vibration-only system and from €649 ($723) for the full Immersit Motion system. Assuming all goes to plan with the production and roll-out, shipping is expected from September this year for the vibration-only version and from October for the Motion model. The aim is for the device to be commercialized by the end of the year.
We've reached out to Immersit for more information about how the system actually identifies what movie is being watched, how it identifies new movies that aren't in its database, how it works out motion codes for new movies and how movements are worked out for computer games.
The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for Immersit.