Forget the first generation of out-of-home virtual reality, the latest generation of entertainment modules are already revolutionising the family entertainment market and they are only going to get bigger, says AiSolve’s Devi Kolli.
Technology has a habit of announcing itself with huge claims and proclamations, then under-delivering and disappointing everyone once the novelty effect has worn off. As a UK-based virtual reality pioneer, it’s sad to say that we’ve spent a considerable amount of our time battling negative perceptions about VR because of some of the industry’s shoddy and ill-thought out installations while explaining why VR really is set to revolutionise family entertainment.
But when you come to Birmingham be in no doubt, the VR revolution has well and truly begun.
Put simply, VR offers like Mayan Adventure for AiSolve’s WePlayVR provide the sort of high quality, dynamic and affordable options that appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike and can drive families and footfall to any location, from just a 3mx3m space to far larger and more ambitious installations.
The quality of the technology behind these entertainment systems has developed out of recognition in a very short amount of time and with more refined headsets, cable-free packs and modules that enable users to move safely around a space as they immerse themselves in the games they really pack a punch.
In our latest game players battle through the elements to uncover Mayan gold on specially-constructed platforms that give them the feeling of crossing deep crevasses or dropping into the depths of the Mayan temple. The reactions, squeals and screams have to be seen to be believed!
The real beauty of such systems is that they can be scaled from a small footplate for constrained spaces – and that can be anything from entertainment centres to malls – through to huge, multi-area spaces offering virtual reality on a grand stage. And with gaming updates, the games themselves can be changed on a regular basis to keep repeat visitors coming back for more.
We’re now rolling out our WePlayVR system with the global entertainment leader Bandai Namco, in locations from theme parks to shopping malls, while we’ve already supplied modules to FECs and retail centres around the world. But we believe this is just the beginning.
Indeed, virtual reality is not only about pure fun. We have also been working with museums such as Lanchester in the UK to bring innovation and inventions to life through mixed reality, combining education, entertainment and engagement.
And in California we have worked with Facebook, Oculus and Bioflight at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to introduce cutting-edge trauma training through virtual reality which has been designed to save lives and improve medical responses in the most heightened of situations.
But don’t just take my word for it – I am a little biased after all – you can play with our modules to your heart’s content at Family Entertainment Expo and discover for yourself what the future of entertainment looks like.
WePlayVR allows gamers to move around a physical space – from as compact as 3mx3m – achieving tasks and battling anything from aliens to apparently falling floors and crossing precipitous crevasses. It’s an out-of-home experience far beyond anything gamers can play at home and also designed for non-gamers too. The beauty of the system is that it can be single or multi-player and also that games can be periodically changed while using the same physical components and hardware. And it’s just the start, as virtual reality evolves into mixed reality and digital enhances even more spheres of life. The content we have produced is very versatile; this will be seen in future games.