IMAX and Odeon are looking to bring virtual reality into cinemas
Virtual reality (VR) headsets from Acer and StarBreeze will be put to use by the Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group through a agreement with IMAX to bring VR into the movie world.
The agreement will see the creation of the first IMAX VR centre in Europe, designed to bring interactive content and games into the Printworks multiplex in Manchester, England, before the end of the year.
Once the centre opens, it plans to use VR headsets to provide five to 15 minute long VR experiences to punters looking for something a little different to the average cinema trip. Over time IMAX plans to produce “cinema-grade content” using a VR camera IMAX is currently developing with Google.
Vectors of VR
“Today’s agreement with ODEON marks an important milestone in our continued effort to deliver differentiated entertainment experiences – now through location-based VR,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.
“We are extremely pleased with the significant progress we’ve made on this initiative in this short period of time and believe this commitment from such a significant European exhibitor is a testament to the interest and potential of this offering.”
VR and cinemas may seem like an obvious move for the companies, given how 3D and laser projection technology first found its way into widespread use through IMAX cinemas.
But is does indicate the while VR headsets are not likely to become common place in the offices of major corporations any time soon, businesses can use them to offer their customers new experiences and way to interact with their products and services.
As such, it would come as no surprise if more retail companies start using VR and augmented reality technology to market and sell their products. And media and creative industries, along with software developers, have a whole new area it explore when it comes to delivering 360 content and digital experiences.
With more firms creating VR tech, and the likes of Vive providing a developer platform for its headset, the spread of VR hardware and software is set to increase as we head towards 2017.
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