- AMC Entertainment has partnered with Dreamscape Immersive to bring up to six virtual reality (VR) centers to the U.S. and the U.K. over the next 18 months at standalone installations and repurposed movie theaters, per The Verge.
- Dreamscape Immersive — a startup backed by Hollywood figures like Steven Spielberg and producer Walter Parkes — is set to open its flagship center at the Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles in Q1 2018.
- The Dreamscape VR centers use motion tracking technology and a host of wearable devices to provide users with a full-body avatar that can interact in a multi-person experience.
Hollywood has been a leader in tapping VR to promote film releases including web-slinging experiences for "Spider-Man: Homecoming" in June and a location-based game for "The Mummy" earlier in the summer. While these types of activations are exciting, their availability is often limited to complex or expensive rigs, which has curtailed appeal. AMC and Dreamscape bringing full-fledged VR centers to movie theaters across the country should help pave the way for wider VR acceptance and also help marketers — in Hollywood and elsewhere — better understand what consumers like using the technology for when it comes to content.
VR has held promise at the consumer level before but its popularity appears to have fizzled with the rise of other more accessible technologies like augmented reality, which can easily be used via mobile phones with no extra hardware. Marketers are still working out how to best use VR as a medium for storytelling and other marketing activities like product demos and even advertising within entertainment content.
One challenge around VR tech is simply getting people accustomed to the idea of interacting in an immersive virtual environment while wearing a headset and other devices.