IMAX announced on May 21, Saturday that the company will offer virtual reality experiences in movie theaters across the United States. VR headsets including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have become popular gadgets in the gaming industry but the VR devices have many other applications including VR films.
The theater chain is teaming up with Starbreeze to build the VR headset. Meanwhile, the Swedish company just unveiled its StarVR headset with a 210-degree full peripheral view.
IMAX has a plan to launch a maximum of six IMAX VR theaters this year in the United States and abroad, according to Cinema Blend. The goal is to test the market.
It seems that the movie theater company’s goal is not to show entire VR movies, but IMAX would instead sell tickets for short VR experiences, according to CNET.
It is likely IMAX will partner with more developers to create new gaming experiences. It would help to develop games that are better than the ones VR fans can enjoy at home, and justify people spending time and money to play them at a multiplex. The target market could also include people who own a VR camera rig.
In related news, Google has confirmed through a session at its I/O develop conference and its blog it has plans to build its own VR headset. It would feature its Daydream platform.
Google stated in the blog post that it has made a reference design for other companies to develop a headset and controller. It will also build its own version.
The Alphabet company has not revealed any details about how the VR headset following Cardboard will look. However, it could have a resemblance like the reference design at I/O 2016.
Google also has plans to launch Daydream-ready smartphones.
Here’s how to watch 3D movies on Gear VR: