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Movie Theatres Touchless Technology Creates an Extension of The Big Screen

No touchscreens. No controllers. No keypads.

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a message for DPAA Summit 2021

Movie theatres ready to welcome back the crowds with touchless technology 

CEN, the fully integrated DOOH movie theatre network, have installed 10 touchless interactive advertising kiosks, powered by Ultraleap, ready for movie theatres to welcome back customers.

The touchless kiosks will run standard display advertising and touchless interactive content harmoniously. The installations include Ultraleap’s hand tracking and the world’s only mid-air haptics which will engage and immerse moviegoers.  The touchless kiosks will also limit the spread of germs providing a safe and natural interaction with digital content. 

As the vaccine rollout accelerates and blockbuster films like Dune and the long-awaited latest instalment in the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die, hit the screens, cinema operators have begun to fully reopen theatres with safety measures in place. The recent box-office success of Walt Disney Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings shows that American audiences are keen to get back to the theatres – it made $75M during its opening weekend in September and is already the top-grossing film of 2021.

In fact, monthly box office figures are steadily increasing month-over-month according to a joint research study from National CineMedia (NCM) and Screenvision Media*. They found that 87% of moviegoers have already seen a movie in the theatre and plan on going again between now and the end of the year. The study also revealed that when moviegoers are concerned about the impact of the Delta variant, 73% still plan to continue their activities with additional precautions, such as masking indoors and being diligent with sanitizing.

message from Movia Media

IMAX chief executive Richard Gelfond agrees that safety is top of mind as people head back to the theatre and told CBS News: “They have to evoke cleanliness when you come in and I think the staff has to continue to egress and exit in certain ways that make people feel safe.”

A study conducted by Ultraleap found that people are 1.8x more likely to interact with touchless technology, compared to touchscreens in the post-pandemic world. In another study, interactive digital signage was shown to move the needle across a range of measures, from dwell time all the way through to purchase intent. In the cinema lobby context, this resulted in a directional estimate of sales uplift of up to $15,000 per interactive screen over the course of a typical 3-week campaign**.

Saurabh Gupta, Director of OOH Product at Ultraleap, said: “CEN’s kiosks are providing health and safety reassurance to consumers at a crucial moment for movie theatres. They are also providing exciting experiences for consumers ready to come back to the cinemas.”

Kevin Romano, CEO and Founder at CEN Media Group, said: “We are excited to see cinemas re-opening around the world. Safety is always paramount, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of the user experience. We have addressed those issues head on with the installation of Ultraleap’s touchless technologies which provide safe and clean interaction while engaging the consumer in a compelling new way.”

Christine Martino, Executive Vice President, National Ad Sales, said: “This data underscores the power of the cinema experience and how behavior of moviegoers is driving the box office recovery. While pandemic uncertainties remain, we are confident that given the strong slate in the coming months, moviegoers will continue to come back in droves – and there is simply no better place to engage with this passionate and highly engaged group than on the big screen.”

Ted Low, Vice President, Brand and Marketing at Studio Movie Grill said: “As moviegoers return to our theatres, craving the experience that we all love, a safe and engaging environment are key areas of focus for us. We are excited to showcase a new interactive touchless solution from CEN, powered by Ultraleap’s innovative mid-air haptic technology. We believe CEN’s latest interactive product will not only engage our Guests but create an extension of the big screen in our lobbies.”

CEN has deployed the touchless kiosks across US theatres including:

TCL – Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles
National Amusements – New York
Elgart – Williamsburg Cinema, New York
Emagine – Chicago, Illinois
Studio Movie Grill – Spring Valley, Dallas
MJR – Brighton, Detroit
MJR – Marketplace, Detroit
MJR – Southgate, Detroit
MJR – Westland, Detrot
Brenden – Vacaville, Sacramento

CEN video showcased their touchless interactive kiosks at the DPAA Video Everywhere Summit on Tuesday the 12th of October in New York City.

* Cinema advertising networks, National CineMedia (NCM) and Screenvision Media, conducted a joint research survey assessing the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant on movie-fans and their movie-going outlook.

**Directional estimate of sales uplift per interactive screen over three-week Detective Pikachu campaign.

About Ultraleap
Ultraleap’s world-leading hand tracking and unrivalled mid-air haptic technologies allow you to engage with the digital world naturally – without touching surfaces. No touchscreens. No controllers. No keypads. From enhancing 2D screens to developing fully immersive 3D experiences, Ultraleap powers natural, safe and effortless digital interaction in the increasingly connected world.

Ultraleap employs more than 150 people across Europe, North America and Asia. It has become the first to offer the full vertical stack of software and hardware to enable spatial computing for the automotive, out of home, industrial, XR, entertainment and medical sectors. www.ultraleap.com

About CEN Media Group
CEN Media Group draws upon more than 85 years of experience in the cinema industry to create the first fully-integrated, dynamic and immersive digital out-of-home network that connects Major Brands and Hollywood Studios with today’s sophisticated consumers.  CEN provides a dynamic platform for advertisers to increase their reach by engaging today’s affluent moviegoers. Find out more: cenmediagroup.com

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