Like virtual reality, the movie industry began as a novelty, relegated to arcades. Like HMDs (Head Mounted Displays) in VR, Mutoscopes were early single-person movie viewing devices which meant greatly reduced profitability. Eventually, anemic profits caused Edison and others to adapt magic lantern lamp and lens housings to primitive intermittent shutter devices resulting in projectors, allowing exhibitors to toss up a sheet in a darkened building, set up 20 chairs, and increase their profits 2000% or greater in the same period of time, depending on seating capacity.
Incredibly, in virtual reality, that logical evolution from single to shared-experience seems overlooked or nonexistent. Obviously, selling more tickets should provide sufficient motive, but there’s more to consider. Much more. That’s why Triple-i is reinventing the theatre. We are focused on the development of shared-experience out-of-home “Immersion Theatres” designed and engineered to present virtual reality in a premium setting. It’s the ideal showcase for superior VR content as a premium destination experience utilizing the latest in technical advances in an esthetically ideal setting. Ours is the ideal VR showroom for potential customers. Consumer exposure is a key to growing the market for VR gear (HMDs), playback devices, content and the VR market in general.
Virtual reality itself changes all the rules of traditional proscenium theatre structure. According to Randall Rudd, founder of Immersion Industries International, “We’re designing to a theatre model with no need of stage, screen, or even common point-of-view seating, working with a team of non-traditional architects, artists, exhibitors and theatre consultants. Our goal is reinventing theatres as we’ve known them for the past millennium.”
New mediums tend to create massive change. Remember television or the Internet? VR will be no exception. We can’t say where Immersion will take us, but we’re excited about the upcoming journey.