IMAX movies may soon allow virtual reality experience in theaters

It looks like the world of virtual reality is already gearing up to branch out into areas other than gaming, with IMAX today announcing that it plans to offer VR experiences in theaters across the country.

IMAX announced its plan to enter the next frontier of immersive experiences — virtual reality.

In a nutshell, IMAX is developing a fully integrated premium out-of-home VR experience, which encompasses camera capture, content distribution and delivery, to provide audiences with immersive, multi-dimensional experiences, including entertainment content and games.

By partnering with two of the industry’s most innovative and compelling companies in VR today — Google and Starbreeze AB, a Swedish-based independent creator, publisher and distributor of high-quality VR entertainment content and hardware.

As far as the Google partnership goes, IMAX and the media conglom will work together to develop a cinema-grade VR camera, called the IMAX® VR camera, which will enable today’s leading filmmakers and content developers to create and deliver the best-possible 3D 360-degree VR experiences.

When folks think about virtual reality, the image that likely pops into their head is one that involves playing video games. Thanks to devices like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR, that’s exactly what the market seems to be leaning toward, too. But anyone who has used a modern VR headset knows that there are uses outside of gaming that make perfect sense for the devices. Whether you’re using a virtual desktop or watching Youtube clips while kicking back on a couch on the moon, the imagination of entertainment providers is literally the limit when it comes to the uses of modern VR headsets.

The partnership with Starbreeze will allow IMAX to create a premium location-based VR experience using its StarVR® headset technology. (Fun fact: Starbreeze’s headsets provide a 210-degree full peripheral “IMAX-like” field-of-view — twice that of any other VR headset currently out there!)

IMAX also is looking to develop VR content with Hollywood filmmakers and studio partners, as well as to work with Starbreeze on leveraging its partnerships in the gaming industry. Lionsgate and Starbreeze currently are developing a John Wick VR game!

The plan is to offer the new VR experience in select multiplexes, shopping centers, tourist destinations, and other commercial sites.


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