Hollywood studios dip their toes in virtual reality

OUTSIDE a squat grey building in Santa Monica, the California sun melts the tar. Inside, in a dark room roughly the size of a small shipping container, two men are exploring the world by means of virtual reality (VR). They squash spiders in an abandoned temple, hit a home run at Yankee Stadium and float through a Blade Runner-esque landscape, all in the span of eight minutes. It feels much longer than that, and also shorter—time is hard to grasp in VR.

The creator of the experience is Walter Parkes, a former boss of DreamWorks Pictures, a film studio, who last year co-founded Dreamscape Immersive. The startup plans a chain of VR multiplex cinemas offering ten-minute interactive experiences for around $15 each. The first will open at a shopping mall near Beverly Hills; another 14 are planned for 2018.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Hollywood studios dip their toes in virtual reality

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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