Knock at the Cabin for tech to make your heart race

Visitors to Canon at CES 2023 discovered new immersive ways to experience Knock at the Cabin, a new movie by critically acclaimed director, M. Night Shyamalan.
A hand holds a phone. On it shows an incoming call from “Leonard in Forest”, a green button to accept, a red button to decline. The background photograph is an opening on a forest of green trees and foliage.

Written by Sarah Vloothuis

Senior Manager External Communications

Making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up is what M. Night Shyamalan does best, but usually, it happens when you’re watching his films – not in them. Visitors to Canon USA’s booth at CES 2023 had an amazing opportunity to dive into his new Universal Pictures thriller, Knock at the Cabin, in four different immersive ways, a full month ahead of its release in cinemas on February 3.

In the film, a young girl and her fathers are vacationing in a remote cabin in the woods when they are taken hostage by four strangers. So, how did CES visitors find themselves transported there, too? Well, right in the middle of the show floor was a life-size replica of the cabin from the movie set in a realistic-looking forest, and that was just the Canon booth. Inside, visitors could experience exciting new Canon technologies and be transported inside the story…

One knock for Kokomo

Canon USA’s Kokomo is still in development, but at CES 2023 visitors were able to use this fully immersive virtual reality software to talk directly to one of four characters from Knock at the Cabin, completely live and real-timeUsing a VR headset and a compatible smartphone, they entered a photoreal environment – as themselves (no legless avatars here!) and conversed freely. And if being in the cabin left them feeling a little uneasy? The person they were speaking too could see every nervous facial expression. Perhaps a good time to put your game face on?

Two knocks for Free Viewpoint System

Everyone wants the best seat in the house, right? Well, what can be better than seeing through the eyes of the film’s characters? M. Night Shyamalan collaborated with our Volumetric Video Studio in Kawasaki, Japan, to direct the recreation of an action scene from Knock at the Cabin, which allowed CES attendees to get inside the scene using our Free Viewpoint System. They were able to watch the action unfold from multiple viewpoints, as though they were playing a part in the movie. Close enough to get your heart racing. But that’s what makes it so cool, right?

A brown wooden cabin, surrounded by dirt, rocks, trees and foliage, as though in the woods. Out the front of the cabin is a wooden swinging sign that reads “Canon”, “M.Night Shyamalan”, “Knock at the Cabin” and “Immersive movie experience”. To the top right is a huge suspended red cube with the Canon logo on all visible sides.

Visitors to Canon’s booth at CES 2023 were met with a life size replica of the cabin in the woods from M.Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin.

Three knocks for MREAL

When the intruders arrive at the cabin, things start to get real. They smash weapons through windows and try to break down the door. Using MREAL, Canon’s mixed reality technology, this scene was turned into an immersive, gamified experience. Wearing the MREAL headset, users could barricade themselves inside the cabin with virtual furniture to successfully keep intruders out. This high-end visualisation and simulation technology is currently in the market-research phase in the USA, but it’s safe to say that it’s unlike anything Canon has ever developed, with superb, almost life-like, image clarity and colour accuracy.

Four knocks for AMLOS

AMLOS (Activate My Line of Sight) was a big winner at last year’s CES, when Joseph Gordon-Levitt used it to create a virtual writer’s room, letting he and his team collaborate with creative minds from all over the world. It subsequently won a 2023 CES Best of Innovation award. This year, AMLOS was set a new challenge and CES attendees could use it to connect with a stranger on the actual set of Knock at the Cabin in Philadelphia. Together they investigated the aftermath of events from the movie, while also creating their own versions of what could have happened in the cabin. M. Night Shyamalan himself worked on clues that were placed throughout the space – little mysteries, such as handwritten notes and broken furniture to discover.

Ahead of the show, the President and CEO of Canon USA, Kazuto ‘Kevin’ Ogawa, was joined by M. Night Shyamalan himself at a special pre-CES media event. There, the audience were treated to previews of MREAL, AMLOS, Kokomo and Free Viewpoint, as well as a panel discussion on what such immersive technologies as can do for sports. Watch the event in full here. You can see Knock at the Cabin in cinemas from 3rd February.

Sarah Vloothuis Senior Manager External Communications

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