VR Cinema Is Here! Play synchronised VR across multiple headsets


Mobile VR is often the go-to route for brands wanting to show fast and user friendly VR, however, until now it has been difficult to offer simultaneous VR playback across multiple headsets.

VR and cinema go hand in hand. It comes as no surprise that the cinema industry sees opportunity in VR – the level of immersion experienced when using 360 VR is incomparable to any other method of on screen storytelling, and when it is combined with other sensory based immersive features such as motion, touch and scent it has the potential to be very effective (read how we’ve utilised multi-sensory VR here).

The relationship between VR and cinema works both ways. In addition to the cinema industry finding new opportunities within VR, the VR industry can also learn a lot from cinematic experiences too. The act of putting on a headset can make VR feel like quite a solitary experience and can make users feel detached from their surrounding environments. Where as the cinema industry seem to be able to strike a near perfect balance between feeling immersed but not isolated.

This is part of the reason why we’re seeing ‘VR Cinemas’ begin to emerge. This increasingly popular offering works by utilising multiple VR headsets to play a single experience simultaneously. This way, every audience member can still experience the 360 video separately, but the occasion is made more sociable and shared by the fact that the entire audience is experiencing the same thing at the same time.

This is an extremely useful concept, and not just for cinematic experiences. We have found a need for multi-device playback capabilities in many scenarios, events being the most prominent. Being able to play and control synchronised VR videos across multiple headsets can dramatically improve time efficiency and and footfall, whilst also reducing the number of staff needed to supervise the technologies.

For example, showing 5 people a 3 minute VR video with one technician would take on average about 40 minutes (3 minute user orientation + 3 minute experience playback + 2 minute changeover per user). However, when using multi-device playback the same content could be shown to all 5 users in around 10 minutes (4 minute group orientation + 3 minute experience playback to all 5 five headsets + 3 minute changeover to next group) creating more opportunities for people to try the VR experience per session whilst also creating a more group friendly and flexible VR experience.

There are a growing number of solutions becoming available that are enabling organisations to utilise multi-device playback – although many of which seem over complicated and/or unreliable. This is why we have created our own VR Cinema App – and when used as part of our VR Cinema Equipment Hire Package, it couldn’t be much simpler to use. We can supply all of the hardware needed to run your own VR Cinema and even pre-install the content prior to the hire. Then all that is left to do is:

  1. Turn on the devices
  2. Launch the app
  3. Press play on the control device

It really is as easy as that! Plus, we can even personalise the app to suit your branding.

Interested in finding out more about VR Cinema or arranging your own installation? Contact us here and we’ll be happy to discuss your ideas and requirements.

Want to see more equipment available for hire? Visit our website www.vr-equipment-hire.co.uk

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