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.

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.
Gaming

Bringing realism to VR is complex, but these developers found a way in holograms

Making virtual reality feel real is the hardest job of all VR developers. For Awake: Episode One, StartVR used volumetric recording, rather than motion capture, to bring its characters to life like never before.
Computing

HP’s high-resolution VR headset provides comfort and Windows Mixed Reality

HP's new VR headset reportedly offers an exceptionally high resolution, highlights comfort and runs on Windows Mixed Reality. HP hasn't officially announced the new headset, but here's a look at some of its features.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.
Computing

Here’s how to watch Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 press conference

It is widely believed that Microsoft's WMC conference will be the stage for the unveiling of the next generation of its HoloLens mixed reality headset. We have the live stream right here.
Computing

Microsoft unveils $3,500 HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019. Here’s what you need to know

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Cars

Nissan designers use HaptX VR gloves to shape future cars

New car designs usually start out as clay before becoming metal, but designers are now swapping clay for pixels. Nissan is using virtual reality gloves from HaptX that give designers a tactile feel of virtual models.