IMAX announces new VR theaters

IMAXIMAX has announced the new wave of high tech cinemas with six planned virtual reality theaters.

The plan is to work with Google to create a cinema quality camera that can record original content. The programs are set to be fully immersive experiences that will be more entertaining than the home devices currently on the market.

Six Locations To Start

The first location is set to be opened in (where else?) Los Angeles, California. From there will be a location opened in China, city pending.

Swedish company Starbreeze in on board is on board the build the headsets alongside Google. They will be provided in major movie theaters as a separate cost to the films themselves.

“Virtual reality in the home is going to be a crowded space, but we thought the idea of doing VR in the multiplex of the future was a place where we can provide a superior experience and a social experience, which are the same reasons people go to movies,” IMAX exec Richard Gelfond said.

A New Kind Of IMAX Entertainment

So far there are only rumors about things like exactly what content would be offered. But sources claim they are in works with several studios to potentially create ten minute blocks of VR experiences related to big Hollywood releases.

Imagine a VR sequence where you could play as an Avenger in the Marvel universe. Or hunt fantastic beasts in Harry Potter’s world.

While projected costs could be as much as $10 per session (or $1 per minute), it is hard ot say it wouldn’t be worth it. And as the tech and style became more commonplace, it would become much cheaper. Or at least more of a value.

The best part about this news? It isn’t a far future dream. All six of the IMAX VR experiences will be opened before the end of 2016. We are talking months here. You could be going through a VR session by January.

I am honestly excited for this. Not because I think the content itself is going to be amazing. It probably won’t be anything better than you can get on a home VR set, at first. But because it is sure to be the next step in something awesome.

Give it five years, and virtual reality will be in IMAX theaters everywhere. And from there? Well, this kind of thing isn’t science fiction any more.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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