Universal Studios to Launch iPhone Features for Blu-ray Discs

Universal Studios Home Entertainment today announced (via iLounge) that it will begin offering iPhone-enabled features on some of its future Blu-ray video releases. Universal's initial launch for the concept will take place with the release of a special Blu-ray edition of Fast & Furious on July 28th. Utilizing an Internet-connected Blu-ray player and a free companion iPhone application to be released to the App Store, viewers will be able to use their iPhone or iPod touch to view and interact with a "Virtual Car Garage" highlighting the cars used in the film.

Powered by BD-Live, the 2-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray release of Fast & Furious will utilize this interactive technology tied to its "Virtual Car Garage" bonus feature. With iPhone or iPod touch in-hand, Blu-ray viewers can use their devices' touch screens to control 360-degree views of the movie's supercharged street-racers and instantly punch up exclusive technical specs for the film's high-tech cars.

Universal also plans to extend the iPhone application concept in future releases, introducing additional iPhone-formatted content, "virtual remote" applications, and social networking features.

Later this year on select Universal releases, consumers will also be able to access bonus content found on their Blu-ray disc and download it into their iPhone or iPod touch to watch features on-the-go; use the devices as a virtual remote to control their Blu-ray disc features; and/or access additional detailed information about the film, its cast and more while watching the movie. Releases will also integrate with social network applications or sites such as Facebook and Twitter to allow users to update their friends about movie-related activities.