Attendees at the NABShow event in Las Vegas had the opportunity to try out the immersive virtual reality (VR) pods supplied by Intel and Positron, which were showing how VR can be enhanced by involving senses other than sight in the process.
The Positron Voyager pods resembled a half egg shape, in which the user sits with their feet dangling in the air. The pod can move through 360 degrees and pitch forward or side to side in response to the action occurring during the experience. The pod is also equipped with headphones for immersive sound and haptic feedback so users can feel every vibration. In addition, there are scent pods, so even the smell of the surroundings are conveyed to the user.
The movie experience that attendees viewed during the NABShow was a short film called Le Mask, which opens with a child trapped within a straw basket, the distinct musk of the basket is all around, along with the sights and sounds of the room that would be expected from a standard VR experience. Later on, a perfume seller in a scene in a market fills the scene with exotic scents.
“We think there’s really a place to have a greater experience by adding other sensory integration,” said Jeffrey Travis of Positron. “It’s not just what you see in the headsets, it’s how you feel when it moves you, how the director can guide you through different points of the story. It’s the sound and feeling the haptic sensations in your back. You really lose yourself in the story.”
Ravi Velhal, a developer with Intel described the project as: “A full fledged cinema experience. I think what you’re seeing here is the world’s first cinema VR experience and how the future of theater in cinema VR should be,” Velhal said.
It remains to be seen if and when these pods will be deployed commercially. VRFocus will be there to report on it if it happens.