Tag: google VR

IMAX virtual reality entertainment coming soon to the US

The new VR experience is set to debut in Los Angeles later this year.

The theatre company, famed for its massive projection systems and IMAX cameras recently announced that it intends to launch several IMAX virtual reality entertainment locations around the world later this year, starting with its first in Los Angeles, reported the Wall Street Journal.

IMAX has partnered with Google and Starbreeze AB to bring its mainstream VR plans to life.

To launch its virtual reality entertainment in locations like malls and multiplexes across the United States and in other parts of the world like China, the company has formed new partnerships in the tech community and intends to use its connections with movie theatres and movie industry talent.

IMAX Virtual Reality - IMAX TheatreIMAX has partnered with Google and announced late last week that it has plans to collaborate with Google on a camera that will capture 360 degree images designed to be experienced in virtual reality via VR headsets. It is anticipated that this camera will be ready for commercial use in approximately 18 months.

In addition to Google, IMAX has partnered with Starbreeze AB, a Swedish technology developer, and will use its VR headsets to provide the immersive experience. To start, the IMAX VR experience will involve games, but the company hopes that it will be able to motivate filmmakers to the use the camera it is developing with Google to create other entertainment content, too.

The IMAX virtual reality experience is part of a much bigger strategy to expand the brand beyond movies.

According to Richard Gelfond, IMAX Chief Executive, the company’s move into the VR industry is part of its much larger strategy to evolve the company beyond the movie industry.

Gelfond said that “Virtual reality in the home is going to be a crowded space, but we thought the idea of doing VR in the multiplex of the future was a place where we can provide a superior experience and a social experience, which are the same reasons people go to movies.”

That being said, while IMAX virtual reality could be an actual reality soon don’t expect this VR experience to come cheap. While none of the official details have been hammered out, Gelfond said that he is particularly interested in developing VR content that is linked to film franchises because this would naturally appeal to move goers. The cost: he imagines 10 minute VR experiences costing between $7 and $10.

Google names new head of virtual reality

The tech giant has thrown its hat in the VR technology ring along with Microsoft and Facebook.

Microsoft and Facebook have been powering forward with virtual reality technology, but at the same time it has appeared as though Google has been falling behind in this particular category.

That said, 2016 is starting to suggest that this isn’t the case as Google has been making moves to catch up.

It has now been revealed that Google is making moves to form its own division that is dedicated to virtual reality tech and computing. As a central component of this effort, it has now named Sundar Pichai – the company’s CEO – as a division head, according to several sources. This represents a massive shift in control positions at the company as it simultaneously indicates that the company has a new intention to create a solid enterprise business. After all, with this shift in execs, it will be senior vice president Diane Green who will take control over the company’s tremendous consumer web applications.

While the changes have been confirmed by a Google spokesperson, further discussion of virtual reality was declined.

Virtual Reality TechnologyThe Google vice president of product management, Clay Bavor, has been in control of the company’s apps; such as Drive, Gmail and Docs. Since the launch of Cardboard in 2014, he has also been the head of that division. Moving forward, Bavor is stepping away from apps in order to place all his attention on VR products. As he steps out of apps, Greene is stepping in, who joined the company in November in order to take control of the newly formed enterprise operations.

The original creation of Cardboard had been to create a form of VR technology that could be introduced in a mainstream way. So far, it has seen some limited success as it has recently started some distribution programs with schools. It also brought about a new GoPro integration that made it possible to carry VR video over to YouTube. That feature was initially introduced in May 2015 at the Google I/O, by Bavor.

This most recent large move in virtual reality might help to assuage the concerns and criticisms of people in the industry who have been indicating that Google isn’t all that dedicated to the tech.