Most people think that Star Wars (1977) was the first movie shown in movie theaters using surround sound technology. It wasn’t. Although Star Wars ushered in the new era of surround sound (despite being named Dolby Stereo), it was Walt Disney that utilized Bell Lab’s Fantasound technology in the movie Fantasia (1941).

It’s Time to Personalize Surround Sound

Dan Cohen | BodySound

October 2008

67 Years Later, It’s Time to Personalize Surround Sound

Author: Dan Cohen, BodySound

Most people think that Star Wars (1977) was the first movie shown in movie theaters using surround sound technology. It wasn’t. Although Star Wars ushered in the new era of surround sound (despite being named Dolby Stereo), it was Walt Disney that utilized Bell Lab’s Fantasound technology in the movie Fantasia (1941).

Unfortunately, that movie, with just “Flight of the Bumblebee” recorded in surround sound, could only be fully appreciated in two theaters—one in New York and one in Los Angeles. To outfit each theater with Fantasound technology and its 54 speakers, cost $85,000 in 1941. In today’s dollars that would cost $1,244,152—a lot of money to hear just one special effect (bees buzzing behind your head) available in only one movie.

Today, surround sound is incorporated into most receivers and players for a fraction of the cost (pennies in 1941 currency) and surround sound can even be recorded with lossless sound. Yet with all of our advancements only one person in a home theater room sits in the sweet spot and everyone is exposed to about the same volume level and the same feeling from the subwoofer.

We live in an age of personalization. At any time no two people at a coffee shop are drinking the same beverage. When their personal cell phones ring they sound different. We have dual climate control in our cars and personal sleep settings for our mattresses. Yet with all the technology we install in our home theaters we don’t have personalization. Why not?

When we think of watching a movie we first think about seeing the movie—the visual experience. Much of our focus has been on making TV screens larger in our attempt to replicate the movie theater experience at home. The video experience doesn’t require personalization, which is why we all look at the same screen. However, we are not addressing the fact that everyone has different hearing thresholds and some people like to feel more than others. Continue to share the video experience, but personalize the senses that should be personalized—sound and feeling.

Experiential ™ seating with BodySound™ technology places every user where the sound originates. All users can share the video experience and at the same time every user can be in their own sound and vibratory sweet spot. With seven speakers and the SoundNumber™ system, BodySound technology provides automatic adjustments for an incredible, close-up and personal surround sound experience in every seat.  

Users are in control of their settings to create personal surround sound that sounds best to them. They can even control their own vibratory experience to feel more or less. And all of this technology is seamlessly wrapped in high-end, ultra-comfortable, customized seating. Now, 67 years after surround sound was introduced, everyone can personalize their surround sound and feeling experience. It’s time to upgrade your experience.

Dan Cohen is CEO of BodySound Technologies, Inc., based in Minneapolis designs, manufactures, and markets Experiential seating with BodySound technology. Please visit our website www.BodySoundChair.com.


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