[Thanks to the DNA Association for the tip]
Lately I’ve had some lively debates with some random people on the internet over “the next big thing in gaming”, virtual reality. That is because I am skeptical over it being the biggest thing since the Wii in consumer gaming, or as some put it, bigger than the TV display(to the point of replacing them entirely). By not embracing such a stance I have not won any new friends but there are various issues that some of these VR faithful blow off as not being a problem at all, to their own detriment. I believe that it has a much better chance of gaining traction in the commercial entertainment space than it does in living rooms. I’ll refrain from the reasons why for the sake of the story here, but feel free to ask in the comments below 😉
A while back we reported on a new venue looking to open their doors in Washington State that was going by the name of VRcade. Now there is news of another company looking to provide VR in a commercial setting by the name of The Void. Going beyond a single store, this Salt Lake City-based company is hoping to launch a chain of Virtual Reality Entertainment Centers (VRECs) around the world, where consumers will be able to enjoy a holodeck-like experience, assuming that this video below stays accurate:
It looks pretty cool, I just hope that their hype version doesn’t fall into the same trap as VR found itself in the 90s, which made it seem like direct TRON whereas the reality was the exact opposite. Fortunately for this attempt, the technology is vastly improved and as you see in this video above, this demonstrates what it is about VR that gives it better standing in a situation like this – the facility offers the tactile hardware needed to enhance a gyroscopic display and that will not require the end-user to shell out the cash for every additional product to make an experience work and being an out-of-home entertainment experience, it has the social aspect covered.
It is noteworthy that they are not using the famous Oculus Rift technology (which I have been told is not being allowed for commercial use) but their own HMD tech called RAPTURE HMD. It offers cruved OLED displays, built-in audio options and both global and head tracking sensors.
It is interesting that this company is found right in my back yard so I will see what I can find out directly, perhaps making a visit to them and getting some info straight from the source. I remember growing up that there was a VR-centric arcade in downtown SLC but I never had the chance to make a visit so this could make up for it.
What are your thoughts on the potential of VRECs?