IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 05-22-16, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses

May has been a busy month for IMAX. Last week, the company announced two virtual reality projects aiming to bring high quality virtual reality to the masses. Both are entirely intriguing and give us a peek into what the future may hold for immersive visual entertainment

In its first announcement, IMAX revealed a new partnership with Google to develop a cinema-grade virtual reality camera. Dubbed the “IMAX VR Camera,” IMAX is looking to give filmmakers a tool to create high resolution 3D 360-degree content. IMAX engineers and camera specialists will develop the camera from the ground up, with an eye towards compatibility with Google’s “Jump” virtual reality platform.

"Today's partnership with Google takes us into the next frontier of immersive experiences – virtual reality – and we look forward to working with them to provide our filmmaker partners and other content creators with a level of VR capture quality not yet seen in this space. VR marks an exciting area of opportunity for IMAX and we believe this agreement, which enables us to participate in image capture and content creation, is an important first step in our broader VR strategy," said Richard Gelfond, IMAX CEO.

IMAX developed its first 2D 15perf / 65mm camera in 1976. At the time, it was the highest resolution film camera in the world. Nothing has yet to surpass it, allowing it to remain the highest resolution film camera for forty solid years. More recently, the company has developed cutting edge 3D and 2D digital capture devices. Fans of previously captured IMAX content will be happy to know that Google has been given permission to convert old content for use with virtual reality technology.

In its second announcement, IMAX revealed a strategy to develop premium location based virtual reality gaming and entertainment stations at multiplexes, malls, and other commercial destinations. This venture involves a partnership with Starbreeze AB, a company that manufacturers high quality virtual reality headsets (called StarVR) and content. StarVR is a nifty device that provides users with a 210-degree full peripheral field of view experience, double the amount of visual information currently offered by any other device.

“Just as IMAX provides the best cinematic experience, Starbreeze is a pioneer in the burgeoning VR market and its headsets will deliver a wider, 'IMAX-like' field of view to allow consumers to see, feel, move and play in new worlds in a powerfully immersive and realistic way. While our partnership with Google puts IMAX in the VR capture business, Starbreeze brings the capabilities in content distribution and delivery that, when combined, help us to establish a complete offering across the VR ecosystem,” said Gelfond.

The new virtual reality locations will carry the IMAX brand name, with IMAX providing product design, management, installation services, sales, marketing, and communications support. In addition to supplying hardware, Starbreeze will be opening its library of entertainment content and games for use at IMAX virtual reality locations. The company will also continue to leverage Hollywood studio relationships to created new content such as a John Wick themed virtual reality game.

Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures commented, "Audiences worldwide are looking to engage with their favorite films and franchises more than ever before. IMAX's VR strategy provides the ability to immerse consumers in a whole new world that expands on the movie itself and opens up a lot of exciting creative possibilities for our properties."

It’s not surprising that IMAX is looking to venture closer to a truly realistic and immersive experience. This is certainly a glimpse into the possibilities of what home-based entertainment may offer down the road.

Image Credits: IMAX, Starbreeze
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-23-16, 12:29 AM
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Re: IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses

It will be the most anticipated VR in the world. Looking forward to it.......

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-23-16, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses

IMAX certainly delivers on the quality front - it's hard to believe they'd put their name on something that's simply ho-hum. I agree...this will be interesting to follow.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-23-16, 02:38 PM
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Re: IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses

Interesting, this could be a game changer.

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post #5 of 6 Old 07-07-16, 04:05 PM
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Re: IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses

Is this implying that it will be only in theaters or is this for home use too?


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post #6 of 6 Old 07-07-16, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: IMAX Looks to Bring Virtual Reality to the Masses

I believe, at this time, that it's only for commercial applications... but if it catches fire... look out!
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