VR News: IMAX Partners With Google To Bring Virtual Reality To Theaters [VIDEO]
In an announcement on Thursday, Google and IMAX Corp. unveiled plans for a very interesting collaboration. Using the tech giant's prowess in the virtual reality scene, IMAX is hoping to bring the VR experience to its movie theaters, offering 360-degree films to consumers worldwide.
Now that's immersive viewing. Just imagine stepping inside the screen and seeing the events of a movie as if they were happening in front of one's own eyes.
The collaboration between Google and IMAX would involve the two firms working together to create a 360-degree camera that would be able to capture images that are optimized for VR viewing. According to the announcement, the 360-degree camera is expected to be ready for use by filmmakers and developers in about 18 months.
This means that if everything goes according to plan, two years from now, consumers will be able to enjoy VR films in IMAX theaters. Such a thing, of course, is a movie aficionado's dream, especially since the project is being developed by two firms that have proven to be very consumer-centric through the years.
IMAX Corp. CEO, Richard L. Gelfond has announced his optimism about the VR project, emphasizing that VR movies are a frontier that is yet to be explored fully by the film industry.
"For nearly 50 years, IMAX has pioneered moving image capture to allow filmmakers to produce the highest resolution images across 2D, 3D, film and digital formats," he said.
"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."
In a lot of ways, the IMAX CEO has a very valid point. After all, home VR is a market that is quickly gaining acceptance. However, the high cost of VR-ready and VR-compatible devices, together with the spatial requirements of the technology, have made virtual reality impractical for a huge number of consumers.
By bringing VR to the theater, everyone could have the opportunity to enjoy 360-degree films without investing far too much in the technology. Just like IMAX's 3D glasses, its VR initiative might very well usher in the next age of hyper-immersive viewing.