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10 Ways Our Movie-going Experience Will Change


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Sensory Manipulation
It’s unlikely that theater-goers would ever need to don a lattice of electrodes like those used in a lab study, but similar technology could deliver an entertainment experience that makes you feel like more of a participant than a viewer. © AMELIE-BENOIST / BSIP/BSIP/Corbis
It’s unlikely that theater-goers would ever need to don a lattice of electrodes like those used in a lab study, but similar technology could deliver an entertainment experience that makes you feel like more of a participant than a viewer. © AMELIE-BENOIST / BSIP/BSIP/Corbis

Interactive movies and high-tech theaters are one thing. But what if the movie theater of the future is simply in your mind?

Researchers are learning more about the brain every day, understanding how to trigger specific thoughts and desires by simply stimulating a specific section of brain tissue. It's no stretch to think that with the right set of tools, a scientist could pipe an imaginary experience directly into your noggin, and in ways that makes that experience seems as real as a memories of a summer bike ride or your first kiss.

You could slip into these synthetic stories and slay medieval dragons, fight on a famous World War II battlefield or set off on adventure across the galaxy. All of it would seem incredibly real — to the point that you could potentially lose touch with reality. Then again, if you've ever watched someone playing "Flappy Bird" for days on end, you know that a lot of people already have.