Out-of-home entertainment has suffered a continuing decline for decades, with arcades, cinemas and more becoming less relevant amidst the huge variety of consumption opportunities in the home. However, IMAX Corporation sees virtual reality (VR) as an opportunity to change this, with new entertainment experiences challenging the accepted norm.
Giovanni Dolci, Vice President of Theatre Development, IMAX Corporation, has recently presented his predications for the year ahead. Openly stating that IMAX sees VR as a high-end addition to the company’s business strategy, Dolci believes that the immersive technology employed by the company can offer experiences consumers simply can’t get anywhere else.
“With the ever-changing entertainment landscape, and media being consumed in a multitude of formats, consumers need a reason to leave the comfort of their homes. Now, more than ever, we need to ‘wow’ audiences with immersive experiences and content that captivates them, in a viewing quality far superior to what they can achieve at home,” stated Dolci. “This 24-carat treatment incorporates all aspects of the cinema experience – from the sound quality, visual projection and screen technology, all the way through to the seats you’re sitting in. But it actually begins before you even enter the theatre with filmmakers and content creators pushing the limits of innovation to bring stories to life in incredibly new ways – whether it’s Christopher Nolan strapping cameras to spitfire planes or new virtual reality experiences that allow you to become your favourite character after seeing him or her on screen.”
IMAX has been utilising VR as a method of extending the cinema experience for some time, most notably with last year’s Justice League VR. This will continue in 2018, but with the addition of new social experiences.
“Over the past few years, virtual reality has moved from an exclusive technology to a mainstream consumer product with very diverse uses. Yet 2017 was the first time that we really started to see the content itself matching the huge potential of this technology breakthrough.
“With developers across the globe focusing on engaging, exciting and meaningful content, we are now beginning to see how VR can make a real impact – especially within the entertainment industry. The next step in the evolution of VR will be making it an inclusive, social experience that you can share with your friends and family, as this is where the demand now lies.”
Exactly what IMAX is planning for 2018 – beyond the addition of new IMAX VR Centers – is not yet known. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with all the latest details from IMAX Corporation and other out-of-home entertainment providers working within VR.