Experiencing VR in a group is an odd way to spend half an hour. At trade shows like MWC or festivals like Kaleidoscope’s 10 city World Tour, we have got a taste of what social VR, in the sense of sitting next to each other in the same room, might look like.
The Virtual Reality Cinema, which is now open in Amsterdam, will be the world’s first permanent VR cinema. If such a thing can really exist. The set up will involve a space for up to 50 people to sit on swivel chairs, wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets and Sennheiser HD 201 headphones.
Tickets cost €12.50 and get visitors 35 minutes of VR content, though we’re not sure what the initial selection will be or how often that will change. Tickets are now available on the site for half an hour slots from 3pm to 11pm and can be booked until the end of March.
After launching pop-up VR events in 2015, Sahmoud Media plans to bring permanent VR cinemas to Berlin, London, Paris and Madrid. That said, the VR Cinema is currently described as a concept.
The Gear VR headsets will be powered by Galaxy S6 smartphones and, ultimately, we’d like to see a high end Oculus or HTC Vive pop up/permanent “cinema” space simply because the prices of these are much more out of reach. Plus, once you sort out the inevitable cabling situation, both provide a much more cinematic experience than the Gear VR.
In theory, spaces such as this can be used to test new VR work and preview animated shorts, interactive TV series and more before they are made available – free or paid for – via a VR platform.
If you find yourself on Oosterdokskade in Amsterdam and in the VR Cinema, let us know how you get on in the comments below.