IMAX to use StarVR headsets for companion experiences at select locations

Starbreeze and Acer is shipping out its high-end, high-resolution StarVR headset to IMAX cinemas, to begin the creation of new, shared virtual reality experiences for the public. It will be able to take advantage of the high-detail and expanded field of view of the StarVR headsets, to leverage a new visual experience for cinemagoers.

This announcement was made by all involved parties at IFA 2016, with IMAX’s chief business development officer, Robert Lister, describing it as the future of entertainment. Much like the way James Cameron leveraged 3D cameras to create worlds like Pandora in Avatar, IMAX claimed to be using a brand new technology to create a new kind of entertainment.

IMAX is looking to create its very own content for these headsets too, leveraging the high-quality, 360-degree camera that IMAX developed in a partnership with Google, to create short form entertainment, to act as companion pieces to the main VR movies created with properties like Star Wars and Marvel.

Related: StarVR specs make the Oculus Rift look like a kid’s toy

The StarVR headset itself will offer 5K resolution across both eyes and a much improved 210 degree field of view. In comparison to consumer grade VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, this is a huge increase in detail and perspective. Those headsets offer around 110 degrees field of view and just 2,160 x 1,200 resolution.

We had the chance to try a very short demo after Acer’s press conference. The increased resolution is undeniably noticeable. Fine details, like words and numbers on printed money, are visible. On a Rift or Vive, they’d be too pixelated too notice. The wider field of view also improves the experience significantly.

Moving forward, IMAX will leverage these headsets in brand new VR centers, which it plans to begin opening in Q4 this year. They will be small scale – due to the screens being minute compared to traditional IMAX displays – but will often sit alongside those very same locations.

IMAX believes that if people are willing to spend $15 for a movie, they’ll spend $25 to see a film and then be transported in a secondary experience, to that location they just saw play out on a big screen. There will no doubt be specific experiences and feature films created for these VR locations as well though.

The first center is set to open in Los Angeles, with pilot centers opening up in London, Shanghai and New York before the end of the year.

As much as this sort of hardware is something that home-based VR fans are likely to be excited about, you’d need an incredibly hefty system to be able to run it at that sort of detail level, so these headsets are likely to be restricted to bespoke locations for now.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

HTC brings two new headsets, a VR browser, and ‘Netflix for VR’ to CES 2019

HTC Vive made several new announcements to CES 2019, including two new headsets, a new subscription service, and a new user interface that completely transforms how applications are launched.

Camera records real-life scenes to design virtual worlds using a single device

Creating virtual reality worlds may get a bit easier in 2019 -- the Axis is a camera module that records a 180-degree depth map, allowing designers to reconstruct the scene for virtual or augmented reality.
Product Review

HTC puts eye-tracking tech in Vive Pro Eye to make next-gen VR hands-free

With the announcement of integrated eye tracking for the Vive Pro Eye, hands-free VR, less demanding high-quality experiences, and intuitive software, are all on the table.

The Vive Pro Eye uses Tobii eye-tracking technology to make VR more lifelike

HTC revealed the Vive Pro Eye with eye-tracking support at its CES 2019 press conference on January 7. We now know that Tobii will be the company responsible for integrating the technology.

Oculus’ Quest is the headset that will make me (and you) a VR believer

Without excessive wires or complicated setup, and a price point that makes sense for tech that just isn't there yet, Oculus' upcoming standalone headset, the Quest, could bring VR mainstream.

Dive headfirst into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.