Harkness Screens Continues to Pioneer the use of Reality Capture in the Cinema Sector

  • Harkness Screens launched Reality Capture in 2015
  • Reality Capture has been utilised by major exhibitors through Europe and the USA
  • Reality Capture can be implemented in order to aid cinemas post-COVID-19
  • Harkness Screens has also developed screen products to aid frontline workers during this global pandemic

With an unflinching eye on technology that enhances the movie-going experience, Harkness Screens pioneered the use Reality Capture in the cinema sector over five years ago. The technology allows for rapid high definition 3D examination of the built environment of a cinema including its assets, to allow for the optimisation of auditoria and public areas.

The rapid non-invasive on-site data collection process allows a cinema exhibitor to maintain normal business activities, producing highly accurate measurable information.

Harkness Screens has previously serviced a number of large multiplex operators around the world with overwhelmingly positive feedback from all project stakeholders (exhibitors through to architects).  Praised for its ease of use, realistic imagery, data transference and the ease of access to key data, Harkness Screens’ Richard Mitchell has been at the heart of the technology’s implementation.

“What is so unique about Reality Capture is the simplicity of implementation, it really is just a case of an exhibitor explaining their precise requirement and then providing our highly skilled surveying team access to the building,” Mitchell said, “Then, once the vast amount of rich data is captured and  registered, the capabilities of the information are fairly endless.”

“More traditionally we have looked at delivering valuable design data to aid in the redesign of whole cinemas through to reseating projects and even placement of speakers for immersive audio installations.

“We have also carried out extensive simulation work using the raw data to look at how  cinemas can best plan their security and evacuation procedures, the lobby experiences of customers and therefore, lobby optimisation; so how that space can be best used to encourage customers to spend their money.

“Some of the results we’ve been able to achieve for customers have been quite astonishing.  Of course, you fast forward to May 2020 and how cinemas have been impacted by Coronavirus and restrictions which have caused cinemas to close. When these are lightened, cinemas need comprehensive reopening plans that allow movie-goers to return to cinemas across the globe and this technology can be utilised with that.”

Recently, Mitchell has penned a white paper that outlines the applications that Reality Capture could have following the effect that social-distancing will leave on modern society. In a recent interview about the impact of Coronavirus on cinema and on Harkness Screens, Mark Ashcroft, their CEO also supported this view, suggesting that the technology could be used to improve the flow of customers in facilities.

Since the onset of Covid-19, Harkness Screens has been developing a wide range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), with the Indian Navy and Bangalore Police having recently received orders. Mitchell has been looking to the future and seeing how Reality Capture will have application when cinemas reopen their doors.

“Cinema operators will have to carefully consider how they will assure movie-goers that their environments are safe to visit, especially as many will be nervous about a return to normality following the fear that coronavirus has caused.  That level of assurance may even need to extend as far as local and national authorities,” Mitchell said.

“Using Reality Capture techniques and our adjacent simulation expertise, we can closely help cinemas plan how they will manage the flow of people, safely and incorporating some social-distancing measures which could extend to the planning for temporary measures, such as temperature checking and hand sanitisation stations. Essentially, we can help plan what the cinemas of tomorrow, at least in the short to medium term will look like.”

Harkness Screens has been an industry leader within cinema since its formation in 1929 and has built up a reputation as a technology pioneer. Harkness’ Reality Capture solution combines unique technology with a deep understanding of the built environment of a cinema, not just in its design but also in its operation. The Harkness team has over 60 years of manpower experience, having supported projects worldwide using state-of-the-art design and simulation software.

“The world will fundamentally, possibly only for a while, have been changed by Covid-19,” Mark Ashcroft said, “We at Harkness believe that a lot of our innovations, whether that be PPE or Reality Capture, has a place in society following the lockdown measures that have been implemented across the globe.

“We are able to, using our unique global reach, to service more people with these technologies and products than anyone else. All of our teams are dedicated to the production of high-quality products and providing a good outcome for all parties.”



Harkness Screens

Harkness Screens™ is the world’s leading screen technology company, specialising in the design and manufacture of projection screens and supporting technologies for cinema and live events. From single-screen independent theatres to large multiplexes to large format immersive theatre experiences or live events, Harkness supplies thousands of screens every year helping provide outstanding presentation experiences to audiences around the world.

With global reach, Harkness is regarded as the world leader in cinema and has screens in more cinemas worldwide than any other manufacturer. With its industry leading 2D and 3D screen brands (Perlux HiWhite, Clarus XC and Spectral) along with an innovative range of presentation monitoring tools, digital surveying services and suite of cinema design and specification apps, Harkness continues to lead the way in screen technology for cinema.  

Founded in 1929, Harkness has manufacturing facilities in the USA, UK, France, India and China and combines unrivalled experience with the latest technology and production methods to provide innovative solutions to the company’s key markets.  For more information, visit the Harkness Screens web page at www.harkness-screens.com.

You can follow Harkness Screens on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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