The most common way that we could experience virtual reality is through the use of headsets. It provides the necessary immersion to the VR world only with box cutouts. However, engineers in Japan believe they have a better idea.
Called the 8K:VR Ride, theirs is considered to be the marriage between a theme park ride and a mini IMAX theater, removing the headgear out of the VR experience.
There are chairs which are swiveled in an elevated platform to make the immersion as real as possible, with the VR environment displayed through a semi-spherical screen covering the fields of vision of those sitting.
GIF via Giphy
Makoto Nakahira, an engineer at Wonder Vision Techno Laboratory, said that unlike the conventional flat screen, you can see images coming closer to you physically in this dome screen.
“This is a system in which you can experience visuals that you have never seen before,” he added.
Its name ‘8K:VR Ride’ gives a clue of how high-tech the Japanese engineers made this to be: the screen has a super-high definition 8K technology, considered to be 16 times more detailed than most current HD images.
The hemispherical theater is known as Sphere 5.2, which is a screen 5.2 meters wide, 3.4 meters tall, and 2.6 meters deep.
Some have experienced this technology during the SXSW 2017 in Austin, Texas this March. The event is a major conference on convergence in the interactive, film and music industries.
One of Engadget’s editors said that the “8K VR ride is the craziest thing I saw at SXSW.”
But the 8K:VR Ride was revealed to the Japanese media for the first time this July, before it is set to show again in Japan’s Digital Content Expo 2017 in October.
This technology was made possible by the efforts of Wonder Vision, Japan-based NHK Enterprises and NHK Media Technology, and RecoChoku Labo.