Now, we can “Travel around the world” in one room | Waves of Tomorrow

In the dusty East African prairie, bushes grow scribbled, and the huge sunset has not yet set. You watched the antelope flocks crossing the river at sunset, and you could smell the dry and anxious smell in the air——

Life and death will be staged here at any time.

When you haven't noticed the sudden turbulence of the grass beside you, an African lion gallops past your eyes. All the antelopes and zebras fled, and the lion's mouth was full of blood in an instant. After a swift and violent hunting, you feel that the land under your feet is like the unfortunate antelope in the lion's mouth, still spasm still surviving.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

Now, all these immersive audio-visual sensory experiences do not require you to go to Africa, you can feel it in a room.

This is a new way of "viewing movies" brought by the experiential entertainment company Illuminarium Experiences : a 360-degree immersive experience .

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

What kind of experience is "360-degree immersion"?

On July 1, Illuminarium will officially open its first immersive entertainment experience in Atlanta: WILD: A Safari Experience.

This is the first immersive entertainment project with the theme of the natural habitat of African wild animals . It is like a living "African Museum".

People will first enter a large space of 30,000 square feet , walk through South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania, and experience the daily life of African wildlife.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

Your sight will be wrapped by huge screens , which can reach more than 100 meters in length and width and nearly 10 meters in height. The screens will be laser projected by 46 projectors to play custom-shot 8K videos .

When a lion jumps down from the tree in front of your eyes, you may subconsciously retreat with the frequency of limping microsteps.

In addition, an advanced spatial audio system will be used here , which can locate and isolate the sound, so that the sound changes with your location.

For example, when you stand under the sky and suddenly thunder and lightning, and run to the next tree, the sound will immediately become smaller.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

However, the real senses, in addition to sight and hearing, also include smell, taste, and touch.

Therefore, a tactile system is also built into the floor of this room .

When you walk around, you can see footprints or ripples left in the puddles stepped on by the ground; when a group of zebras step across the land, you can feel the throbbing underfoot.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

Based on the ultra-wide-field lidar sensor, you can also interact with the animals, plants, and everything in nature in front of you.

When you approach a tree , the birds on the tree will fly away; when you wave your arm, you can see the dust in the air.

In terms of smell, by injecting different gases into the air , they can let you smell the dry dust, restless air, and yellow grass in the African grasslands.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

But the taste experience is not so direct, after all, you can't put African wild fruits in your mouth out of thin air.

So they created a space called "The Illuminarium Café" .

It is like an extension of the immersive experience, providing a terrace where you can eat African specialties and buy local handmade products in Africa.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

It is worth mentioning that from Thursday to Saturday night, Illuminarium will also become a bar specially prepared for urban nightlife .

Every night here will change a scene, you can be in the streets of Tokyo city Cyberpunk, you can enter the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, or you can be in the lush mysterious forest, and then drink and date in these characteristic atmospheres.

Because of its customized features , you can even pack it here and hold a "Paris" wedding.

New possibilities behind "360-degree immersion"

Compared with the past immersive experience content, Illuminarium has mainly changed the following three points.

One is to get rid of the assistance of wearable devices.

In the past, immersive viewing usually required wearing VR glasses and going through a tedious upper body process. Illuminarium allows people to free their hands and walk directly into the virtual immersive world.

This seems to have not changed much, but in fact, those who have experienced VR glasses will know that a heavy object on your head will always remind you that the world in the glasses is in front of you.

▲Picture from: Unsplash

The second is the "sharing" it provides.

In the past, the immersive virtual experience was generally viewed by yourself in glasses, but Illuminarium can turn the virtual scene into a public experience and feel it with the people around you.

Although to experience the real African scenery with good friends, the best thing is to fly to Africa together, but the reality is that not so many people have enough conditions to travel to Africa.

Illuminarium CEO Alan Greenberg also stated:

We hope to make these close-to-real experiences more "democratized."

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

The third is the technological upgrade brought by Illuminarium itself in the sensory experience.

The key to an immersive experience lies in the way the film is shot.

They use a customized camera array to shoot on the spot in Africa, which can provide a native field of view of 240 degrees, while the average human field of view is only 210 degrees.

In this way, as far as the naked eye can reach, people will only see the African grasslands.

In addition, it is reported that Illuminarium has invested 15 million U.S. dollars to cooperate with top companies and personnel from the fields of film, interactive content, architecture, theater design, and venue operations , so that the immersive experience has a more solid technical foundation.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

Next, Illuminariums stated that the content will be changed every six months, and the "space walk" will take over the "Africa Tour " .

This is an experience of traveling through the solar system. People can "walk" on the moon and Mars, experience the feeling of actually walking in space, and feel the beauty of the celestial bodies of the cosmic nebula. However, the details of how to create the five senses are still unknown.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

They plan to open 5-10 new large-scale immersive entertainment centers every year, and subsequently build 50 venues around the world. The locations include Las Vegas and Miami, and the places under consideration include China, Japan, New York, Chicago, Australia, etc. .

When we asked the post-80s, post-90s, and post-00s consumers whether they are willing to try this immersive entertainment project——

The post-80s expressed their willingness to take their children to experience it once, because it may have a certain educational significance. The post-90s and post-00s are more skeptical. They said that they would first see if they are well received. On this basis, if the price is reasonable, the price is reasonable. Will go early adopters.

▲Picture from: Illuminarium

However, Illuminarium tickets are not cheap, at 35-50 US dollars (approximately RMB 226-322), as an entertainment experience, the price is relatively high.

Although it is cheaper than going to Africa, it is foreseeable that it will still be consumed by a small number of people .

Will diversified immersive entertainment be more popular?

In recent years, the global immersive industry has developed vigorously . In 2019, the domestic immersive industry output value reached 4.82 billion yuan, and there were 35 immersive business models.

▲Picture from: Unsplash

In addition to immersive entertainment venues like Illuminariums, there are also immersive exhibitions, immersive theme parks, immersive theater, immersive VR movies, immersive games…

These immersive entertainment projects are constantly experimenting with new forms. They can be seen everywhere on Weibo, Station B, Douyin, Xiaohongshu and other platforms. However, as early as the 1950s, immersive experience projects had already set off a wave of craze. .

In 1955, Disneyland opened a new attraction for the first time-Circarama, which is also known as the "Circle Movie" .

As the name suggests, Disney used 11 screens and projectors, and the most advanced digital projection and sound technology at the time, to create a 360-degree fully enclosed screen in a theater, making the audience feel like being in a movie.

It can be said to be the pioneer of virtual reality projects today.

Later, Disney began to equip such immersive entertainment projects in the global parks, and derived a variety of immersive theaters such as "Circle-Vision 360° Theater" and "Magic Kingdom", taking people to various places in the real world and fairy tale kingdom.

At that time, this immersive project was mainly driven by Disney, but the popularity of the current immersive experience has been supported by its own content.

In recent years, the most popular of immersive projects has been immersive exhibitions .

From the Van Gogh painting exhibition to the immersive exhibition of Yayoi Kusama, and TeamLab from Tokyo, they are among the best. They combine science, art, and design to create an immersive form that attracts many young people. Pursue punch card.

▲ TeamLab

The second is immersive theater touring around the world.

For example, the classic "Sleepless Night" breaks the constraints of the stage, allowing people to travel as participants in the story and promote the development of the story with the actors. Although the ticket price is not low, it is often difficult to find a ticket.

▲ "Sleepless Night"

Stunning visual and auditory effects, fresh and diverse experience content, and interactive experience forms are all reasons why people go to consume immersive entertainment.

A Yan, the product manager of an Internet manufacturer who has been paying attention to online immersive experience all the year round, told Ai Faner that now is an era of consumption that emphasizes experience and spirit. A unique experience can be better than buying a physical object. The development of immersive entertainment also comes from Experience the development of the economy .

Immersive experience is the new art of dreaming, and the development of technology makes this dream more real and attractive.

But of course the status quo of immersive entertainment is not without its ups and downs.

▲ Picture from: TeamLab

Through interviews with consumers who have been to immersive exhibitions, immersive dramas, and immersive VR projects, most of them bought tickets because of their freshness and curiosity, but the main reasons affecting their secondary consumption are as follows:

  • The price is relatively high, and there are not many immersive experience projects around
  • Immersive content has serious homogeneity and slower content update frequency
  • Official and social media exaggerate publicity, and the actual experience has a large gap

But on the other hand, although every immersive entertainment project is currently not considered a mass consumption project, each time they cross-border, they are like branches, converging into a consumption ecology of "immersive experience", accelerating Experience the development of the economy.

As William Gibson, the father of cyberpunk, said:

The future has already arrived, but it has not yet been evenly distributed.

What's more, there are more new "dream makers" being born.

They are scrambling to break the boundaries of immersive experience and try to redefine the new rules of virtual and reality.

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