I Just Experienced the Next IMAX in VR and My Knees Buckled, By Philip Michaels

BERLIN — One day, you’ll be sitting in a movie theater, watching the end of a big-screen blockbuster, most likely involving a superhero the way Hollywood green-lights things these days. But instead of filing out of the theater when the credits roll, instead you’ll head into another room where you’ll strap on a headset and watch a special add-on or extra about the movie you just watched, all in glorious virtual reality.

That day is not far off, if the companies working to develop immersive VR experiences for movies, theme parks and other attractions have anything to say about it. Acer wrapped up its press conference at IFA today (August 31) to announce that the VR headset it’s developing with in a joint venture with Starbreeze is now shipping to customers. And one of those customers — Imax Corp. — plans to put that headset to use at a VR center opening up later this year in Los Angeles.

If it’s successful — and from my briefing time wearing the StarVR headset today, I would give say there’s a pretty good chance it will be — Imax’s incorporation of VR into the movie-going experience means the show doesn’t necessarily end once the credits role.

When the demo switched to the wider field of view, my knees actually buckled, and the engineer running the demo had to grab my arm to steady me.

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