VR place is a location-based virtual reality (VR) attraction that provides a more immersive experience than what people can get at home. These locations typically provide a mobile untethered VR headset and a dedicated space for the user to walk around in. Some offer more interactive experiences that would be difficult or impossible to replicate at home, like roller coasters and wind tunnel diving.
Some VR experiences also add physical objects to the VR environment for passive haptics, or tactile feedback. This is sometimes called room-scale VR. The original room-scale VR experience was developed for military combat flight training decades ago, using screens arranged around the pilot to simulate the view from all directions. More recently, the technology has been miniaturized for personal use and is now known as VR headsets and standalone devices like Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard.
Many businesses and organizations are turning to VR place as a way to draw people in and make them more interested in their products or services. Some examples include museums, theme parks, and retail outlets. For example, Utah-based start-up The Void offers a haunted house VR experience with a phrenetic zombie-slaying game that combines immersive motion with actual physical feedback. Some theme parks have adopted VR to enhance existing attractions and increase excitement for upcoming rides. For example, Madame Tussauds has partnered with The Void to offer a Ghostbusters Dimension experience that includes immersive effects and actual body movement, like wind and heat.
A growing number of museums are embracing VR to give visitors a deeper, more meaningful experience than traditional exhibits. For example, the Louvre recently launched a VR experience that takes viewers inside Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting. The virtual tour allows users to see the painting as it looked during its original creation and how it has changed over time. The museum also created a virtual collection of Modigliani paintings for a 2018/19 exhibition. These VR tours are available for download on the VIVE app and can be re-experienced for four months.
In addition, some VR experiences are designed to be shared and enjoyed with friends. For example, Sandbox VR provides a series of unique worlds that can be experienced together. Whether it is an intergalactic adventure or a mission to defeat a zombie ambush, these worlds bring out the best in people and create strong bonds. For group bookings and private events, the venue can even host a customized world based on your party’s interests.
For a VR place to be successful, it must provide an incredible customer experience that people can’t easily get at home. Today’s customers have high expectations, and a mediocre attraction won’t generate revenue. Before investing in a new VR attraction, potential customers should ask the company to provide details on where they can play it firsthand and be sure to check online reviews. If a company doesn’t have any installs, it may be better to choose another option.