Acer and Starbreeze AB today announced at a global press conference in Berlin that they have started to ship StarVR virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMD) to IMAX Corporation in preparation for the opening of the IMAX VR Center in Los Angeles, expected later this year, and others in the near future. This marks the first commercial availability of the Star VR HMD.
Earlier in 2016, Acer committed to delivering a small volume of units of StarVR HMDs this year with mass production of the devices to commence in 2017. On hand at the press conference were Bo Andersson Klint, CEO at Starbreeze and Rob Lister, Chief Business Development Officer at IMAX Corporation.
“We’re extremely proud to be able to show the first manufactured units of the StarVR headset produced in our collaboration with Acer. Since announcing the StarVR headset in 2015, we’re finally at a place where we can see the pieces of our vision coming together. From day one we’ve been convinced that we can deliver premium experiences with premium hardware. The search for great partners sharing the same vision was long, but we’re happy to be able to lay down these two fundamental parts in Starbreeze VR-ecosystem together with Acer and IMAX. We can’t wait for people to start experiencing world-class virtual reality in the StarVR HMD and at IMAX VR centers,” said Bo Andersson Klint, Starbreeze CEO.
Starbreeze has recently disclosed details of the ramping-up for VR software development, incorporating two big film and television franchises, John Wick and The Walking Dead, into the company’s short-term VR software release strategy. Several partnerships have secured placement of the StarVR HMD in out-of-home VR experiences, similar to this first shipment to IMAX.
“With this shipment to as important a player in the entertainment industry as IMAX, we are absolutely thrilled that we are well on our way in bringing the virtual reality experience to the next level and to the world” said Jason Chen, President and CEO at Acer. “The realization of the most premium VR experience ever offered isn’t just our dream, but one of an entire ecosystem that encompasses hardware makers, videogame developers, theater companies, filmmakers and many others. [sic]”
Chen highlighted at the global press conference that movies and videogames have exceedingly become ever more closely entwined. The lines are blurring between movies and videogames, and are moving beyond just two mediums that have traditionally only complemented one another. He said they were converging to become a more dynamic, immersive form of storytelling, and virtual reality would feature prominently in this development.
StarVR is a unique HMD, delivering 210-degree horizontal field of view. The HMD is not currently targeting a consumer audience and no further details concerning commercial availability have yet been announced, but of course VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details.