IMAX, the company behind the technology used in those very large cinema screens on which certain films are shown, intends to give virtual reality a theater-like experience. Before the end of the year, IMAX will open six locations to house “VR experiences” that go beyond what consumers can get at home, reports the the wall street journal. These experiences will take place in places like movie theaters and shopping malls, starting in Los Angeles and eventually heading to China.
Now, don’t expect to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster in VR once these venues open. Instead, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond explained, the plan is to offer short-form content related to film franchises, like around 10 minutes, for a price between $7 and $10.
That might seem like a lot for such a short VR trip, but again, their goal is to deliver a better experience than what an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive can deliver at home. IMAX will use headsets and content from Starbreeze, which just announced a partnership with Acer. Starbreeze’s hardware offers a more immersive VR experience thanks to its 210-degree field of view (compared to the Rift and Vive’s 110 degrees).
This news comes hot on the heels of IMAX and Google announcing a partnership to work on a cinema-grade 360-degree camera. That, however, won’t be ready for filmmakers to use for another 18 months, meaning there likely won’t be any surplus VR content for IMAX to use for quite some time.
THE SOURCE the wall street journal