Are technology gadgets and cinema a good mix?

Cinemas in the US are now encouraging children to bring iPads along to the movie, in what seems a cruel ploy to ruin everyone’s relaxing viewing time.

Although not to worry as this is only for a short time only, an event at the El Captain in LA. For a special screening of The Little Mermaid, children are encouraged to bring an iPad with them for an augmented experience. Disney has created an iPad app for viewers to download before they get to the cinema, which includes synchronised games, sing-a-longs and trivia.

This means a lot more fun for the kids involved, but I imagine a lot more noise and distraction. Kids can generally lack the concentration to sit through an entire film without deciding there’s something better to do, so this experiment could go two ways. It could enhance the viewing of the film, giving the children more enjoyment, being able to connect with the story and characters better, or it could cause chaos in the cinema aisles.

Picture the sugar-overloaded children watching a bright and beautiful Disney film, only to be immersed in their parents’ iPad, leading them to be overwhelmed and confused at which screen to look at most. You can almost see the exhausted parents removing the iPad from their squabbling childrens’ death grip, desperately wishing they’d left it at home.

So, does technology mix with cinema viewing? We all know the perils of loud talkers on the back row and the flashing of phone screens down in front, so maybe grab the popcorn, settle into your seat and leave the tech at home.

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