IMAX VR Can Make You Invincible

The wife deflects blaster bolts with a lightsaber and I become an assassin on a rooftop.

All set and ready to duel!

I had been interested in visiting the IMAX VR Center in Los Angeles for a while now and finally managed to convince my wife to join me. Neither of us were sure of what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised. Here’s a quick overview of our experience.

The reception area.

Upon entering the building, friendly staff greet you. The decor is minimalist, sleek and refined. The color palette and lighting intensity designed for relaxation and entertainment.

The waiting area

We decided to “roll the dice” and didn’t book tickets online since we weren’t sure of what each experience was like. After a short explanation of each experience and we decided upon Star Wars and John Wick.

The waiting area separates us from the pods. The wait is short and we walk into the main room. My wife is up first on the Trails of Tattoine. The staff assist you to put on the HTC Vive headset, headphones and the rumble pack. All in all setup is quick.

One of the VR Pods

I could tell that my wife was enjoying herself. She waived her Lightsaber to defend herself against Stormtrooper blaster bolts. Soon enough the experience the was over. Unlike her previous experiences of VR she didn’t feel any motion sickness. Hats off to the guys at ILMxLab for keeping the experience comfortable.

The crew member informed me that most people have experienced Samsung GearVR.

My first StarVR experience

I was up next. The John Wick VR experience uses StarVR technology. Having experienced the HTC Vive, I am impressed with the StarVR headset. The first you’ll notice is how light the headset is in comparison to the HTC Vive. Secondly, and most impressively is the increased horizontal field of view. Unlike the HTC Vive the controller is a replica submachine gun.

A quick tutorial on how to reload from the IMAX crew member and I was ready to go.

Getting behind cover.

The experience was a lot of fun, very engaging, and very dynamic. You play John Wick on a rooftop mission. Enemies will shoot from other buildings and even pilot a helicopter in an attempt to “kill” you. Accuracy is very important to your success. Use the gun’s sight to help your aim. I just wish the experience was longer.

Know Before You Go:

Parking. There’s street parking which is $1 for 1 only, but you’ll have to move your car. There’s also parking at the grove which is free for 1 hour but $4 for 1.5hours.

Registration. Register online at home first, even if you don’t reserve an experience.

The Bottom Line:

It’s still early days for VR and location based arcades such as IMAX VR help to evangelize the medium. Go to IMAX VR, have fun, go to brunch!