If you've ever played an addictive video game on your smartphone or tablet, you know just how absorbing the experience can be. The people and places in the vicinity fade out and your attention falls completely within the artificial gaming universe in front of you. Now imagine that movies could become just as immersive.
Instead of going to a darkened box to watch a glowing screen, the world around you may become part of the cinema experience. With small, high-resolution handheld displays, head-mounted displays built into smart glasses and all sorts of control systems enabled by smart devices, wireless signals and high-bandwidth Internet access, clever programmers will make your neighborhood and city part of a story.
The real-world locations you visit — a museum, zoo or even the supermarket — may all become elements of a quest that you seek to complete. This kind of system would not only blur the lines between movies and video games ... it could make the lines between reality and artificial life fuzzy, too.