Virtual reality seems to be the next big thing in technology and after hearing about Cineplex releasing their very own IMAX VR experience in Toronto, I thought I give it a shot. Available only in 3 other cities in the world(LA, New York City and Shanghai). Scotiabank theater in Toronto is Canada’s first location for this new and exciting experience.
My friend and I went on a Tuesday night. Upon arriving at the theater. The VRs are located just inside the entrance. There are several games to choose from. Some lasting between 8 - 20 minutes long. Each game has their own little room called pods. The prices vary from games and how long they run. Depending on the type of game, some games require you to just lay back and sit down while other games require you to be fully interactive with your body. As we were purchasing our tickets, we were recommended to do Raw Data a science fiction first person shooter game.
After purchasing our tickets we signed a waiver. The time slots are based on when you purchased the tickets. If there's a queue, you would just have to wait until it's your turn. The pods are open concept so you can see other people playing. We were watching people play Raw Data and it was definitely immersive and interactive compared to the other games. My friend feeling intimated of how immersive it is and how exposed you are to people watching, we decided to switch games and try something more less immersive. We refunded our tickets and bought Space Flight Orbital Emergency. This VR experience was more laid back. We sat on black reclining chairs which had all these neat features built in them.
Based on the simulation, the seats would angle upward as we were taking off. It would vibrate on lift off or impact and there were jet thrusts built in, so you can hear and feel the air thrusts. When we arrived at the pod, we had an assistance come to us and assisted us with putting our head set on. I had some trouble with my glasses but I managed to tuck them in. Once our headset were comfortably on, we were instructed on the VR screen to move a dot to the center by moving our head. This part was just to confirm we were ready to start. In the beginning, you're in a space ship with your co-pilot as you get ready for take off into space. I won't tell you any more because I would just spoil the experience for you.
In conclusion, the whole VR experience lasted about 8 mins. My very first impression regarding all this, it was short but impressive. VR has soo much potential. I actually felt like I was floating in space. I was also impressed on the graphics rendering. I was looking around the cockpit and it was so cool to see some components in 3D as if you were actually there. VR is exciting and I believe it's the next big thing in technology as it continues to advance. I will definitely be returning to try out Raw Data. If you haven't tried VR, do it! It's a whole new and exciting experience in today's technology.