Computer hardware and electronics manufacturer Acer has invested $10 million into IMAX’s Virtual Reality Fund in a bid to “support the development of high-quality and immersive VR content” for location-based experiences.
The investment follows up on Acer’s recent partnership with Starbreeze Studios, which promotes the creation of cinema-grade virtual reality experiences for the company’s StarVR headset.
“Acer is excited to join forces with IMAX and other world-class investors to help foster top-shelf content for the thriving VR industry,” Acer CEO Jason Chen said in a statement. “With this strategic investment and our deep collaboration with partners including Starbreeze in the hardware and entertainment sector, we hope to enable engaging and immersive VR experiences in IMAX VR centers and beyond.”
While many companies are attempting to find a foothold in the virtual reality industry with headsets and software designed for consumer-grade VR hardware, Acer and other hardware manufacturers have set their sights on advanced VR hardware built specifically for location-based entertainment.
Rival hardware manufacturer HTC recently announced plans to license VR software for use in movie theaters, Internet cafes, and VR arcades worldwide. Once the technology is adopted for location-based entertainment, licensed users will need to download compatible VR applications and games via HTC’s Viveport app store, ensuring a steady revenue stream for HTC.
It’s likely that Acer has similar ambitions for its investment into IMAX’s Virtual Reality Fund. Currently, the manufacturer considers itself to be among the “leaders from the media and entertainment industry who are investing in this fund and seeking to bring VR experiences to the next level.”
Acer is already leveraging its Starbreeze partnership to ship StarVR head-mounted displays to IMAX developers. The company hopes to integrate StarVR technology with installations at the IMAX VR Center in Los Angeles, which is set to open by the end of 2016. Similar IMAX VR pilot centers will soon open for business in London, Shanghai, and New York.
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- Starbreeze Studios is opening its own virtual reality arcade in Los Angeles this year