Journal

Joe Turner-McMullan

Location Based Virtual Reality

What is LBVR and why is it so important?

Heard about virtual reality in abstract conversation or a passing mention? LBVR is starting to change that on a vast scale.

Experience Centres

One of the most notable names within LBVR is currently a company called The VoidThe unique ability to become a part of the Star Wars universe, or a similar experience while roaming free with friends, has been catching the eye of hundreds of thousands of people. Working with Lucas Film and others, The Void have created large, untethered, shared experiences. To create these spaces they have used some bespoke solutionsThe Void’s wireless VR backpack is an important part of their set up, however the exact equipment inside is not widely known. The Australian company Zero Latency offer the same style of experience. The connection they enjoy with Alienware offers them some distinct advantages. The optimised hardware means cheaper equipment, not only that but it may even offer a more stable performance for constant business use.

The Void, VR Backpacks

Experience centers provide an enjoyable experience without the need for prior knowledge or a competitive nature. Dreamscape Immersive sold out their entire six week Alien Zoo pop up experience in just a few days. Word of mouth offers even more traction when combined with social media. The shared space and photographic opportunities  have been excellent promotional tools for this kind of LBE.

Immotion plans to take part in this area of business through the development of its VX range theatre pods. The locations targeted are popular public spaces, existing entertainment centers and theme parks. The easy to manage experiences Immotion develops offer exciting, simple and accessible ways discover virtual reality.

Virtual Reality Arcades

Arcades that employ virtual reality have a slightly different effect on the VR industry. These venues employ experiences that draw people back through a robust, fun and competitive platforms. The technology and experiences here will underpin the home users confidence and familiarity of use.

VR Star Bristol, photo by Simon Galloway. Virtual Reality
VR Star, Cabot Circus, Bristol
©Simon Galloway 2017. All Rights Reserved.

VR Star which originated in Bristol, UK, has seen constant and positive growth in interest. Highly rated for its customer service, it is clear that introduction and guidance is still a large part any VR business. It will be some time before the majority of customers can use VR without some form of help. Arcades are therefore essential going forward in introducing relatively cheap and guided ways to get hands on. Springboard VR offers content licensing and a customer OS for new arcades. Forbes projection is to see a rise in arcades in 1000s in the next 12 months.

In summary, the opportunity to get hands on with this revolutionary technology is essential. Current costs for home VR are high and the options limited. LBVR has presented an important business model, one that can sustain development and help support virtual reality for consumer entertainment.

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