There’s been a lot of buzz recently about virtual reality. The technology has gone from science fiction to affordable consumer fact. YouTube recently opened up to supporting 360 degree footage, the last piece of the puzzle needed for creators to start streaming virtual content. At a recent newfront presentation, Discovery Digital unveiled plans to create VR friendly digital supplements to some of their popular shows. Now comes the The Void, a startup looking to experiment with immersive virtual entertainment and next generation gaming.
In a compelling video, the team behind The Void demonstrates what would be possible within a fully developed virtual entertainment center. It’s not quite the Star Trek holodeck but it’s damn close. Imagine being fully surrounded by a gaming environment rather than just watching it on a screen. With virtual reality and state of the art motion tracking technology, it could soon be possible.
As loud as the noise surrounding virtual entertainment has grown we haven’t seen many actual ideas for how to use the technology. Streaming platforms are opening the door to virtual content, but the challenge still remains for content creators to figure out how to make it and what to make. Some ideas sound better than others on that front. By contrast, the gaming world has been dreaming of virtual reality for almost a decade and now that it’s here there’s no shortage of startups, pitches, and proposals for how to use it to enhance the gamer experience.
The Void aims to split the difference between the home bound and often isolating experience of solo game play and more social activities. As soon as next summer, players could be slipping into headsets and motion tracking body gear at gaming centers around the country. These centers would act like souped-up laster tag arenas or paintball courts, giving players a chance to come together in the same physical space and interact through the medium of virtual reality. For a generation raised on games, it’s a tantalizing proposition.
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