Universal Studios Announces Next Gen Blu-ray Interactivity. iPhone (and iPod touch) To Play BIG Part.

Posted by Arron Hirst on November 12th, 2009
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Universal Studios Home Entertainment have today announced their plans to offer next generation user interactivity on a selection of their upcoming Blu-ray titles. Arriving this coming holiday season, the studio will be focusing on bringing a variety of special features targeted for (and which will integrate exclusively with) both the Apple iPhone, and iPod touch. So, I bet you're wondering what titles can be expect this functionality on? There are five new and upcoming titles, all on Blu-ray, which we'll see include these special interactive experiences. These include: Bruno, Funny People, 9, American Pie Presents: The Book of Love, Public Enemies, and Inglourious Basterds.

Split up into two main sectors, this new announcement sees Universal as an entertainment studio shift focus into the iPhone space, and equally importantly at the same time, jump on the ever-changing, ever-evolving social networking band-wagon.

The first of Universal's announcements is pocket BLU. Described as 'Groundbreaking,' this free application will connect through Wi-Fi to any network capable Blu-ray player, and will extend the Blu-ray experience in an variety of new and exciting ways.

Feature extensions to your Blu-ray experience will include the following:

An Advanced Remote Control. Not only is Universal Studios set on extending your visual Blu-ray experience, it seems they also want to enhance the the way you interact with it. Pocket BLU™ will see the introduction of a sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. You'll be able to navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease, straight from your iPhone or iPod touch.

Video Timeline. By turning your iPhone into landscape mode, you will bring up the video timeline, allowing you to instantly access any point in a movie. I don't know about you, but for me this seems like a great addition and definitely something I can see myself using.

Mobile-To-Go. Sick of special extra content stuck on your physical Blu-ray disc of your favorite blockbuster? I know I am. What if you could take it with you, in your pocket? This new feature aims to do just that. With it, you'll be able to unlock a selection of exclusive bonus content with your Blu-ray™ discs to save to your device or to stream from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi network, enabling you to enjoy exclusive content on the go, anytime, anywhere.

Browse Titles. Maybe you'd like to see what other current blockbuster titles support this functionality, or in fact upcoming ones. With the browse titles feature, pocket BLU will give you access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray Hi-Def. You'll be able to view free previews and see what additional content (if any) is available to unlock on your device.

Pop-Up Keyboard And all this, with keyboard input OTA. Enter data into a Blu-ray player with this easy and intuitive keyboard that will also facilitate such Blu-ray features as chatting with friends and sending messages.

But that's just the half of it. The second announcement from the studio is social BLU. This new app will aim to add social interaction to your Blu-ray user experience, namely Twitter and Facebook. The studio says you'll be able to create status messages for each of these services, about the title your currently watching, at the click of a button, to share this Blu-ray experience with your friends.

The American Pie Presents: The Book of Love release will be the first of these titles to mark this integration of Blu-ray content with social networking. Once available, you'll be able to control status updates from your Blu-ray player, from UniversalHiDef.com, or within pocketBlu.

Of course to make this all possible, Universal have to first update their BD-Live Center.

Newly redesigned, Universal's BD-Live, which will be first seen on Funny People, will offer an easy, fun, and interactive experience directly from an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. The “What’s New,” feature will allow you to check out the latest releases coming to Blu-ray and theaters, along with exciting BD-Live features. The update will also bring a “Content Center”, where you will be able to intuitively find favorite previews, trailers, and more.

Universal says that login and registration aren’t required unless you want to access select community features, and with everything designed in a one-click and tap navigation, universal reckons that the Blu-ray experience will be more seamless than ever before.

Personally, I think it's great that we're seeing major film studios using iPhone and iPod Touch as tools to extend our already rich media experience, and I can't wait to see where this will lead.

Look out for all the titles mentioned dropping this holiday season!

pocket BLU

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-11-11 :: Category: Game


iPhone Screenshots

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pocket BLU screenshot 1 pocket BLU screenshot 2 pocket BLU screenshot 3 pocket BLU screenshot 4

iPad Screenshots

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pocket BLU screenshot 5 pocket BLU screenshot 6 pocket BLU screenshot 7
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