Motion Picture Technologies
In Croydon, London we recently came across an exciting young company called Sol VR Lounge. Sol VR Lounge is a business based around virtual reality products. This company highlights the advances in technology and the way in which moving image is experienced now.
Over the past few years’ cinema experiences have evolved from merely just a screen. To a more immersive experience. Three Dimensional was once a gimmick used to sell films to audiences in places such as theme parks, but as technology grows so does audience’s expectations. 3D cinemas are now common place amongst all the biggest Cinema Franchises. Although, personally 3D cinema has remained something I could take or leave. This was re-emphasised by my friends often complaining that the experience would cause them a headache. So, we often opted for the more traditional experience.
I am always up for giving these new things a try, though. Having now become well accustomed to what Bournemouth offers in terms of entertainment. It was very exciting when I first saw that they had a 6D cinema. This is far from a traditional cinema experience. I wouldn’t recommend it to my parents let’s say. It is a great experience which has been established for several years now, with a decent variety of movies to choose from. It is, however, more for thrill seekers.
However, for me, it was still missing that wow factor you get from the clarity of the usual cinemas and high budget films. Then in 2015 something very exciting occurred. On the other side of the globe, a company had already made waves in cinematic technology. A company called 4DX which originates from South Korea has developed a strong brand identity now. They are now an international company with some very noteworthy business partnerships including Cineworld.
Having carved their way across the globe they established their presence and found their footing in the Uk on January 15th, 2015. By this point, they were considered as the industry leaders in motion picture technology. Later that year October 2015 they opened a branch in Crawley, I and a friend went and experienced the then newly built 4DXcinema. Our film of choice was “Star Wars The Force Awakens”.
The price was a bit steep, but I must say I was personally surprised by just how good the experience was. It was a very atmospheric experience. Most surprising for me was the strong element of smell which certainly added another dimension to it, as one of my senses was triggered. I will certainly visit there again. This type of thing is obviously only suitable for high octane kind of films though, and is therefore not to everyone’s taste.
4DX are not the only ones innovating in this field, though. Competition is good for everyone and at Future Tourism we love innovation. So, as was mentioned earlier it was exciting for us to meet Ayaz Faiasl the founder of Sol VR Lounge. They Recently obtained the kit from china and hope to be both operators and distributors of the concept, both as a standalone and as an input to other visitor attractions. This is their first deployment. Other people trying to innovate within this specialism is exciting though and Sol VR Lounge seems to have found their gap in this marketplace by changing the screen. They have opted for a more personalised experience. Using virtual reality to create an augmented world for a single user in combination with different types of innovative simulation products included but not limited to their driving simulators. Don’t be surprised if you hear more about them soon
A start-up known as Feel Three (London) is another company in their very early stages with some very interesting concepts for the next generation of gaming combining virtual reality goggles with their design. In the hope, they can provide an affordable product for the consumer. This is assuredly one to watch.
Another interesting company to keep an eye out for is Somniacs. The company was founded by Max Rheiner who is head of the Interaction Design Masters programme at the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland. What originally started as a research project within the University has now spread its wings. It has stemmed into a commercial business producing products such as Birdly. A very original way of capturing near enough every young boy’s dreams of becoming superman. Is it a bird is it a plane, or just a man laying down pretending he’s wearing a cape, flying away from a hard week at work?
Gone are the days when it was enough for arcade amusements to consider themselves the leaders in supplying simulation technology to their customers. With companies like 4DX, Sol VR Lounge, Odeon’s partnership with D-BOX and Somniacs producing the products they are. The time for change is now.The arcades are quickly becoming outdated in contrast to the new technologies available. More and more people are purchasing virtual reality equipment for the home. Arcades must upgrade their facilities and products to move with the times. Companies like Sol VR, 4DX and Somniac are utilising the VR technology and currently setting the benchmark in this field. While Amusement arcades would serve as the perfect business partnership going forward otherwise I can see arcades becoming a thing of the past.
Either way, this has all got us very excited to see what the future holds.