The world’s first virtual reality theme park based around science fiction has opened its gates in Guiyang, China. [Read more…]
Most people think of paint as simply something to change the color of a room, but thanks to Ph.D. student Yang Zhang and fellow scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research, there’s now a conductive paint that can transform ordinary surfaces into giant interactive smart walls. [Read more…]
Southern California outdoor shopping mall The Outlets at Orange welcomed the grand opening of Alien: Descent, a free-roaming virtual reality experience based off the 20th Century Fox property “Alien.”
This unique VR experience recruits teams of up to four players as members of the Colonial Marines for a rescue mission in response to a Weyland-Yutani distress signal. Your Alpha or Bravo team will work together to navigate a mine site safely and eliminate whatever you encounter along the way with your laser-equipped weapon.
Joshua Wexler, co-founder of Pure Imagination Studios, said Alien was a perfect property to explore for this new immersive attraction. “We’re fans– huge fans,” he said. “We think the property lends itself really well to this kind of experience. We built our proof of concept using Aliens. We went to Fox, and they are great storytellers and filmmakers. We showed it to them and said we really see an opportunity, and they agreed.”
However, players don’t have to be huge fans of the franchise to fully enjoy the experience and understand the narrative. “Alien“ fans on the other hand will definitely appreciate it on a greater level. And much like the Alienfilms, there are plenty of Alien creatures in the 360-degree environment.
Alien: Descent features never before seen technology developed by Pure Imagination Studios. Patrons are outfitted with the expected VR headwear, as well aslightweight forearm and shin guards to track a player’s motion. The absence of any other heavy equipment or wires offers a sense of freedom and mobility that users have yet to experience until now.
Wexler said this technology has been in development for years. “Our goal at Pure Imagination [Studios] is really to push the envelope with local-based entertainment,” he says. “We really wanted to create an
immersive experience that freed you of some of those traditional constraints, like the 20lbs of backpack that’s like wearing a computer.”
While wireless VR is not entirely new (it is used in The Void’s Star Wars VR experience), not requiring a bulky harnessedbackpack is. As this technology develops, it opens the door for even more creative, immersive attractions. Though Wexler couldn’t go into any details on future experiences or locations, he confirmed there is much more to come from Pure Imagination Studios.
The Alien: Descent experience lasts about 15 minutes and is located at 20 City Blvd W, Orange, CA 92868. Tickets are $22 per participant and can be reserved online now.
In 2013, Disney’s MagicBand revolutionized the theme park and resort industry. Estimated to have cost over $1 billion, the wristbands formed part of the “My Disney Experience” project which also tied-in the use of a cutting-edge mobile app to help guests plan and manage their trips. For Disney, it was simple. If they enhanced the experience, more people would spend more time in their parks, ultimately, spending more money. [Read more…]