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In recent years, fueled in large part by the limitations imposed by a global pandemic, entertainment has sought technology to expand the ways in which people can participate. The screens have gotten smaller, but they go farther. We have more options to take, but we get better guidance on what options might suit us.
As Covid’s restrictions begin to recede, technology has a chance to help the entertainment industry bring immersive, self-directed experiences that many have enjoyed at home in public entertainment spaces. Here are five ways I think we’ll see in the next five years.
1. Technology will provide us with entertainment applications that will allow us
In most entertainment venues, queuing is considered a necessary evil. From buying a ticket to going for a walk or having a snack, the normal process in most places involves queuing. Apps have the power to change that.
Although the apps have been used in the entertainment industry for a while, the tools they provide were limited. Theater apps allow you to pay for tickets in advance, but once you get to your seat, they are no longer useful. The new rule will be an app that will make sure you’re always at the forefront of the line, whether you’re ordering popcorn at the movies or visiting a birthday party at a trampoline park, or paying for another round of mini golf at a local family entertainment center.
Our season of staying in place has made us look forward to a self-directed, no-holds-barred entertainment experience. Technology can be used to meet these expectations in public spaces.
2. Technology will provide us with catchy entertainment apps
In addition to empowering us, the next generation of entertainment apps must engage us. Apps can do much more than just create a mobile ordering mechanism – they can allow us to interact with guests.
The teams I lead in the family entertainment center space are experimenting with participation through apps, because we want more opportunities to connect with our guests, to guide them, and to receive feedback. We want to be at your disposal at all times. If they can contact us and participate in a helpful way, this will provide them with the information they were looking for or remind them of the experience they had with us. Then they may think more of us than of our competitor. Involvement is key to brand loyalty.
Related: How applications are changing our daily lives
3. Technology will give us augmented reality in public spaces
“Immersive” has been one of the buzzwords in the entertainment industry in recent years. Our desire to be fully immersed in an entertainment experience has resulted in the growth of related technologies on two fronts. In public spaces, places like Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience and Dinos Alive use state-of-the-art projections, enhanced audio and robotics to immerse guests in a fantastic landscape. In private spaces, virtual reality uses a combination of synchronized hardware and software to introduce users to amazing virtual spaces.
Augmented Reality (AR) unites the two fronts by providing a digitally enhanced experience in a real-world space. We are working with AR in our Boomers Parks to create spaces that are not only immersive but also customizable to the needs of any group or organization that uses the space. This emerging technology enhances entertainment that is engaging, impactful, and adaptable to a wide range of audiences.
Related: Top 5 Augmented Reality Trends for 2022
4. Technology will bring stars to the stage using a hologram
No wonder a superstar like Whitney Houston takes to the stage for a concert in Las Vegas. However, his most recent show in Las Vegas was unique, considering that it was nine years after Houston’s death. The “live show” includes a live band and live dancers with a Houston hologram performing their hits.
The Houston show is just the beginning of the kind of entertainment that holograms can promote. Musicians and bands can use technology to hold concerts in several cities on the same night. By combining it with karaoke, fans can even sing duets with holograms from their favorite artists.
5. Technology will perfect the art of self-service kiosk
As labor costs have risen, many industries have turned to self-service kiosks to allow them to continue to serve their customers while reducing their payroll. In the entertainment industry, you’ll find them in museums, movie theaters, theme parks, and more. Kiosks are functional, but not intuitive. Technology can change that.
When you replace an employee with a kiosk, you lose more than personal touch. You lose the opportunity to guide a guest, as well as the opportunity to sell them. Over the next five years, self-service kiosks will use artificial intelligence and other technological innovations to be more welcoming, offer a smoother interaction, and make a transaction more rewarding for both parties.
Related: 4 technological trends that shape the future of media and entertainment
Technology has always played a key role in entertainment, and it always will. For the next five years, the winners in the world of entertainment will be those who understand that their audience lives in a digital world; it touches all areas of their lives. If they don’t connect with them there, they will lose them.