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Amazon’s latest experiment could fundamentally change how we watch TV

Amazon is working on a way to make films, TV and eBooks more immersive, according to a new patent.

The new patent says Amazon is working on: “solutions for synchronising devices within a certain area to provide environmental stimuli that corresponds to content being consumed by a user.”

That’s a little dry-sounding, but the actual end-goal is an interesting one. The company is working on ways to get your smart-TV, or eBook, to work with other smart home devices and create an immersive environment.

Related: Yale Smart Sync Home Alarm

The patent explains: “For example, if a user is using an e-book reader to read about a character travelling through a frozen arctic wasteland, metadata associated with this section of the story may include instructions for lowering the temperature of the room and activating lights to provide a dim blue light.”

Another example suggests that your devices could work together to order you a pizza, which arrives just as someone in the film you’re watching eats a pizza.

I’m sure you’re already imagining some pretty amusing uses for this kind of device synchronisation. Perhaps you’re watching a horror film where a pizza delivery guys kills his pizza-hungry customers… then the doorbell rings.

The question is, will these tools provide a string of gimmicks, or genuinely make for more immersive entertainment?

The idea of having your devices turn your heating down every time you read or watch something set in winter isn’t immediately appealing, but the patent suggests there would be permissions settings for these kind of interactions.

The patent also suggests that authors could write in stage-direction-style prompts for your lights and other smart home tech.

The easiest, most obvious device pairing is the aforementioned use of mood lighting, using products like Philips Hue. Imagine firing up Doom: Eternal for the first time to see the whole room bathed in red light, or relaxing with your favourite eBook and having the lights dim without you lifting a finger.

Related: Amazon just revealed loads more details on its New World MMORPG

With more and more devices getting smart-home integration, the possibilities for this immersive, experience-building tech seem pretty varied. However, at this stage this is only a patent and we can’t guarantee this will ever be offered to customers.

We think it probably will though. It definitely fits in with the growing trends around smart home tech, AI and assistant technology. Watch this space for more updates.

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