What You Need To Know About IMAX VR

Technology continues to move at a pace that makes keeping up more complicated by the day. And one arena that is growing at a fervent pace is the world of Virtual Reality.

You probably know this, because VR advertising went mainstream during the 2016 holiday season. And now, with VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR shipping to customers, we are creeping closer and closer to VR being a mainstream product.

Something that is probably more familiar to you is IMAX. You know, the movie experiences where you get to see a film in larger and better resolution than normal. Most of us have seen at least one movie at an IMAX theater, and there are over 1,000 IMAX theaters across the globe. Well, now the IMAX creators are adding VR to the atmosphere, with the opening of the IMAX VR Experience Centre in Los Angeles.

The location has 14 VR pods that utilize a combination of HTC Vive and StarVR headsets and lets you choose from a wide selection of exciting VR adventures in sampler form, or to play specific IMAX VR games like Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine.

Here is some more info from the IMAX VR website. Starbreeze+starvr

This isn’t your friend’s living room. With IMAX VR you’re getting the most advanced VR headset and motion-tracking technology powered by blazing fast computers in a state-of-the-art facility purposely designed to let you suspend reality. The result? A VR experience that’s light years ahead of anything else available.

Features of the IMAX VR experience include: Room-tracking technology that allows players to explore virtual space more than has ever been possible. Single-player and head-to-head multiplayer competition. A combination of the most advanced VR headset technology for unmatched immersion and image resolution. Control devices that give lifelike haptic feedback, adding a deeper layer of realism.

And more content is slated to hit the VR centers soon as Warner Bros. recently announced plans to integrate the new film Justice League into the experience as a tie-in with the upcoming film. They’re planning to unveil a series of original VR experiences, created with IMAX.

Costs are about $1 per minute to play with the games and gear, and while the first location in Los Angeles is not connected to an IMAX theater, future locations are scheduled to be attached. Are IMAX VR sites destined to be the arcades of the future? Well, if the first location is well received, it might head in that direction quickly. Here are the upcoming rollout plans.

IMAX has signed agreements to open an additional five IMAX VR centers in the coming months, including a pilot Centre in the UK with ODEON & UCI Cinema. The Company is also currently in conversations to open additional pilot centers in Japan, the Middle East and Western Europe. These pilot locations will test several factors including the overall customer experience, pricing models and the types of content featured. If successful, the intent is to roll out the concept globally to select multiplexes as well as to commercial locations such as shopping centers and tourist destinations.

If an IMAX VR location comes to a city near you, would you check it out?

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Joe Long