Cinema technology company IMAX plans to deliver more immersive experiences with its films, games and cinemas using virtual reality (VR) technology.
The company has entered into an agreement with Swedish VR firm Starbreeze to make VR content for the StarVR headset (pictured below) which offers a 201-degree view for creating immersive VR experiences that fill the wearer’s peripheral vision.
The tie-up will involve working with partners such as games publishers and Hollywood filmmakers to produce media suitable for VR use.
IMAX hopes that the strategy it will entice more people out of their homes and into its cinemas and other entertainment locations.
Starbreeze chief executive Bo Andersson Klint explained that the partnership will bring VR experiences to more people in a more effective way.
“We believe one of the best ways to experience VR is communally and in the highest possible quality,” he said.
“We want everyone to have an accessible and exciting premium VR experience in cinema complexes and commercial locations all around the world.”
IMAX also has a partnership with Google to develop a cinema-grade high-resolution VR camera to improve the way 360-degree video is produced for widespread audiences.
This will feed into its work with Starbreeze and also see IMAX’s documentary video converted for use with Google’s VR technology.
The Wall Street Journal reported that IMAX has plans to open six VR locations worldwide making use of the StarVR headset in multiplexes and shopping centres before the end of the year. The first is slated for Los Angeles.
Consumer VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have finally hit the market, but adoption of VR by businesses is very much at the early stages as companies figure out how the technology can be used effectively.
IMAX’s VR strategy highlights VR's potential for forward-thinking companies willing to explore how cutting-edge software and hardware can be put to proper business use.
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