News

FRIDAY FEATURE: IMAX Announces Exciting New Virtual Reality Initiative
May 20, 2016

Andrew Stewart | Manager, Corporate Communications 

Hot off the presses!

Today, IMAX announced its plan to enter the next frontier of immersive experiences  virtual reality.

In a nutshell, IMAX is developing a fully integrated premium out-of-home VR experience, which encompasses camera capture, content distribution and delivery, to provide audiences with immersive, multi-dimensional experiences, including entertainment content and games.

How? By partnering with two of the industry’s most innovative and compelling companies in VR today — Google and Starbreeze AB, a Swedish-based independent creator, publisher and distributor of high-quality VR entertainment content and hardware.

Buckle in, it’s going to be an exciting ride  literally!

As far as the Google partnership goes, IMAX and the media conglom will work together to develop a cinema-grade VR camera, called the IMAX® VR camera, which will enable today’s leading filmmakers and content developers to create and deliver the best-possible 3D 360-degree VR experiences.

SEE ALSO: IMAX Plans Foray Into Virtual Reality — WSJ

Prolific Hollywood director Michael Bay praised IMAX and the new VR strategy saying, “I've always been a big believer in IMAX, which has been a great longtime partner. As a filmmaker, IMAX’s location-based VR offering presents an exciting opportunity to transport audiences even further into the worlds we create. We are in advanced discussions with IMAX now on some fun VR concepts and I look forward to test-driving their new technology."

(Side note, but still pretty darn cool: Google will have exclusive access to pre-existing IMAX documentary footage for conversion and use within the VR world. Imagine being able to climb Everest or soar through space!)

And really, that’s just the start of it.

The partnership with Starbreeze will allow IMAX to create a premium location-based VR experience using its StarVR® headset technology. (Fun fact: Starbreeze’s headsets provide a 210-degree full peripheral “IMAX-like” field-of-view — twice that of any other VR headset currently out there!)

IMAX also is looking to develop VR content with Hollywood filmmakers and studio partners, as well as to work with Starbreeze on leveraging its partnerships in the gaming industry. Lionsgate and Starbreeze currently are developing a John Wick VR game!

The plan is to offer the new VR experience in select multiplexes, shopping centers, tourist destinations, and other commercial sites. So keep an eye out for it at a location near you!

See you there!