Panasonic has teamed up with Princess Cruises to deliver 4K projectors for the fleet of cruise ships that will make onboard theater entertainment more immersive. It’s a step that shows what interactive group entertainment will be like in the future.
At its press event at the CES 2020 tech trade show in Las Vegas, Panasonic said it is helping beef up entertainment for Generation Z and millennial travels who have high expectations for entertainment, thanks to their tech-laden homes.
The Sky Princess is the first cruise ship in a fleet of more than 100 to be outfitted with Panasonic’s new PT-RQ50KU 3-Chip DLP Solid Shine Laser Projector. It will be used for 5-Skies, a new production show in the Princess Cruises fleet that blends live actors and projected imagery.
The 5-Skies production show made its debut on Sky Princess in December 2019, and will be featured on Enchanted Princess in 2020. Carnival’s Princess is already in the midst of upgrading its fleets with technology to enable internet of things services, such as delivering drinks anywhere on a ship, to cruise travelers.
The Panasonic PT-RQ50KU laser projector combines native 4K resolution at 50,000 lumens of brightness with separate red and blue Solid Shine laser-phosphor technology. Typical projectors are around 5,000 lumens.
“The ships are seeking these exciting immersive opportunities, particularly for the younger crowd,” said Joseph Conover, head of strategic solutions for immersive entertainment at Panasonic, in an interview with VentureBeat. “They’re using this projector in the entertainment in the theater, which is like a digital live action, virtual reality experience.”
Conover said the experience is almost more like a gaming experience than a traditional theater performance. The first projector was installed in December.
“They try this on the ships, and it helps us go back and improve our product in the long run,” Conover said. “We test the audience response, and it’s great. It’s more like a hologram sort of experience. One feature is our live tracking and mapping technology, which gives us the ability to project and map onto a live object.”