If you’re into tech, you’ll know that one of the biggest talking points so far this year has been virtual reality (VR).
Cool virtual reality gaming experiences are still driving the progress of VR tech. Cleverly designed headsets, years in development, are finally becoming available – such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR
Virtual reality is more than gaming
Yet global companies across different industries – from travel to cars – are quickly realising that investing in VR technology now could reap bountiful rewards in the near future.
How virtual reality will tell stories on the silver screen
Samsung has been a frontrunner in developing VR technology by partnering with Oculus to make the Samsung Gear VR headset, which works with many of its Galaxy smartphones.
Now the Korean electronics giant is turning its attention to making the entertainment world a virtual one.
Samsung has committed to opening a virtual reality film studio in New York.
‘At Samsung we love stories,’ Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer, Samsung USA, told an audience at the Sundance film festival in Utah as he made the announcement. ‘And we love to help people tell stories.'
The new tech being used to film it
IMAX is known for bringing stunning high-resolution films to the big (big) screen. So movie buffs will be pleased to hear it has teamed up with Google to develop a cinema-grade VR camera.
With the IMAX VR camera, filmmakers and movie studios can create their own virtual reality content and bring it to the masses.
‘For nearly 50 years, IMAX has pioneered moving image capture to produce the highest resolution images across 2D, 3D, film and digital formats,’ said IMAX CEO, Richard Gelfond.
‘Today's partnership with Google takes us into the next frontier of immersive experiences.’
So what does this mean for regular movie-goers?
Hopefully a sign that we might all be wearing VR headsets at our local cinema in a couple of years to watch the latest Star Wars instalment.
Imagine being in the Millennium Falcon with Han on your left and Chewie growling down your ear. If you thought watching it on IMAX in 3D was sensational, then those special effects in virtual reality will be enough to make your light sabre wobble.
Samsung also announced a year-long partnership with the Sundance Institute, the organisation behind the eponymous high-profile independent film festival.
So filmmakers should be queuing up to create super-immersive films like never before using VR, just like hundreds were clamouring to try out Samsung’s Gear VR headset at Sundance.
Meanwhile as part of the deal with IMAX, Google will be able to access the film company’s huge back catalogue of footage – and convert it using VR technology.
There’s clearly an appetite for exploring VR in film. So, watch out 3D movies – if VR has anything to do with it, your time could soon be up.
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