The VOID VR – Next Generation Theme Parks

A whole new kind of entertainment has hit the world. A lot of companies are working on bringing virtual reality to people’s living rooms, however one company is already thinking bigger than that.

Company The VOID’s idea is to build virtual and augmented reality theme parks. The first site will stand finished in Salt Lake City, Utah in about 6 months. Salt Lake City holds a special place in the history of VR. A legend behind some of the first experimentation into mixed reality, Ivan Sutherland, hails from the city. He’s now working on development of a virtual and augmented reality HMD system named ‘The Sword of Damocles’.

The concept The VOID is creating is building heavily on immersion coupled to a physical environment. It combines virtual worlds with elements of the real world, like walls, wind, and sprays of water. Simple effects like a fan blowing wind in your face and nozzles spritzing with mist are supposed to make you feel like you’re really standing on the edge of a lush jungle, a waterfall gushing in the distance.

The facility will comprise of eight play areas (gaming arenas), each one up to 60 by 60 feet. Groups of one to four players at a time can take part in 20-minute sessions, for a price of $29 to $39 depending on the content.

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According to many, what is most interesting about these arenas are that they utilize a special technique to make that 60×60 space feel way bigger. Advanced ‘redirected walking’ algorithms within the play-space creates the illusion of infinite movement. The company has identified the threshold up to which humans can be redirected in such a way that they do not perceive any discrepancies. A person can walk a circle with a radius of approximately 23 meters and feel as if they’re walking in a straight line, even though they are looping around a given space. This, plus some strategic twists and turns inside the maze-like walls in the arena, can bring you back to the same hall over and over, though with changes to the virtual visuals in your headset, you’ll feel as though you’ve never been there before.

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The company will be using their own VR headset, the Rapture, at their locations. The HMD is being developed in Chicago through technology partnerships. The headset will use curved OLED displays and wide FOV optics.

The VOID does indeed have an ambitious development schedule. ‘Rapture’ is supposed to be ready for production in four months and they say they are some six-months away from opening the first site.

The team has a varied skill set, including experience of theme park development, virtual reality reasearch, game development and even experienced magicians. The company has amassed an impressive board of directors and investors that will have big money invested into this brand.

Whatever the content is, CEO Ken Bretschneider says it will change quarterly. “I can take you into a multiplayer game scenario and you can play that way, but I can also take you into an educational adventure. I can take you into a puzzle-solving adventure. I can have you live a film. I can take you into a museum of the future,” he says. “There are really no limitations.”

 

Sources: https://thevoid.com/http://www.technologyreview.com/http://www.roadtovr.com/http://www.bigshinyrobot.com/http://www.techinsider.iohttp://www.fz.se/

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