Stories, emotions and immersion are some of the key reasons why we go to the cinema. All of these have to be conveyed with the use of sound and a screen. The utilized widescreens cover our center of gaze and are therefore very well suited to convey information or a story.
But we still perceive our surroundings with our peripheral view and therefore cannot forget where we are. Movie theaters counter this by darkening the room and having only the bright screen visible to the eye, thus making us “lose the frame” and ignore our unfilled peripheral view. The next evolutionary step for screens would be the panoramic screen, which does the extra effort to also project information in our peripheral vision. This can be achieved by many different shapes, including full circles, but the most efficient setup is where a main screen in the middle is complemented by two additional ones on each side. That way the audience can keep their attention focused on the center screen and still have their full field of view covered.
The combination of a point of view style movie, where we see the action from one character’s perspective, and a panoramic screen has the potential to bring an experience to the audience that can take them to a different reality.
By covering the full field of view and projecting a point of view image the sensory input is basically the same as in everyday life, which should create high levels of immersion. It is basically the closest we can get to virtual reality with a cinema screen. Can this be the future of cinema?