The Void - First Virtual Reality Theme Park Opening in 2016
The VOID will be the first of its kind - a dedicated virtual reality theme park and it will be opening in Salt Lake City, USA, in 2016.
The VOID describes their vision as wanting to address "a real need to get out of the house and share new experiences with our friends and family. At THE VOID you will walk into new dimensions and experience worlds without limits. From fighting intergalactic wars on alien planets, to casting spells in the darkest of dungeons, THE VOID presents the Future of Entertainment. Only limited by imagination, our advanced Virtual-Reality technologies allow you to see, move, and feel our digital worlds in a completely immersive and realistic way."
The virtual reality centers will create the highly immersive experience using a mixture of VR technologies including their own advanced Rapture technology - which includes HMD (Head Mounted Display), Vest and Gloves with state of the art body tracking technology; motion simulation and all five sensory stimuli; and a physical environment with entire buildings corresponding to a video game world.
It works by providing guests with the Rapture technology, which they put on prior to entering the environment. Once they are decked out, they will be able to enter a "game pod" where the custom-made Rapture HMD and vest provides 3-D visuals, sound, tactile response (called "haptic feedback") and location tracking.
The game pod itself will be equipped to simulate changes in elevation, vibrations, heat and cold sensations, moisture, and simulated liquids and smells; stimulating all five sense for the highest quality immersive experience. The visual or game simulations will range from fantasy forests to alien planets and co-op and multiplayer options will be available, and the gameplay will be family-friendly.
There will also be a motion simulation attraction, which will also use the Rapture HMD technology. The seats have 360 degree turn over 3 axis (roll, pitch, and yaw) as well as lift. The company explains "Our simulators will feature adjustable and swappable control devices providing for a variety of simulation experiences including: aircraft dogfights, ground transport, mech battles, spaceship or submersible explorations and more."
"We are fulfilling a promise of what a virtual reality experience can and should be," Ken Bretschneider, the VOID's CEO and cofounder, said in a statement published in the Salt Lake City Tribune. "Until now, we have only seen experiences like the VOID portrayed in science-fiction films and novels."
The VOID (The Vision of Infinite Dimensions) will allow players to experience "everything from Haunted Castles to Dinosaur Safaris to Futuristic Battlefields, and with our competitive or cooperative multiplayer modes you can share those incredible experiences with family and friends. With new Dimensions and updates being added quarterly, there will always be something to see at THE VOID."
Chris Madsen, a VR consultant, mental health professional, and Advisory Board member for Edge of Discovery, said "I have never experienced this level of immersion. For the first time, despite my rational mind knowing I was safe, I couldn't bring myself to step off the edge of the virtual cliff! This is presence and I loved every second of it."
There are also those who are thinking beyond entertainment for this technology, purposes including military and police training. Jason Mudrock, SWAT sergeant at Unified Police Department in Salt Lake City, tested the technology for its real-world training possibilities. "The VOID's technology was able to envelop me in a 3-dimensional environment that allowed me to move and interact with the environment all while experiencing stimuli to all five senses," he said in a review on the company's website. "This is the future of military and law enforcement training tools."
THE VOID, otherwise referred to as Virtual Entertainment Centers (VECs), will be opening in Salt Lake City in early 2016, however there are also plans to take THE VOID to major cities throughout North and South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
For more information on the details of the technology, specifications, and more, head to the website where you can also sign up for email updates. You can also check out the introduction video below: