Certain tech enthusiasts claim that virtual reality is the upcoming trend, and Lucasfilm seems to be embracing it wholeheartedly. The company recently unveiled ILMxLab, a division dedicated to creating virtual reality experiences for the Star Wars universe. The debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December will coincide with the release of these experiences. Essentially, you may have the opportunity to step inside the movie itself.
What will VR Star Wars offer us?
ILMxLab is currently testing a range of technologies, including iPad and Oculus Rift, to fully immerse fans in the Star Wars world. John Gaeta, the creative director of ILMxLab, stated that their ambition is to transcend the limitations of traditional movies and allow fans to physically enter these cinematic worlds. The legacy of George Lucas has prompted them to reevaluate innovation, not just in movies but also in video games. ILMxLab aims to push the boundaries of technology once again, drawing inspiration from both Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
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In the accompanying demo video (featuring Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy), the cutting-edge technology used to bring the Star Wars and Jurassic Park universes to life is showcased. The ultimate objective is to place viewers literally inside the movie. It appears that the Star Wars fandom is on the verge of a groundbreaking evolution.
The collaboration between all arms of the Lucasfilm empire creates a unique effort. The expertise in visual effects from ILM, the latest in real-time computer graphics from the Advanced Development Group, and the audio prowess of Skywalker Sound, all mix under the incomparable appeal of the Star Wars franchise. Unlike other movie studios that partner with tech companies to explore VR, ILM has integrated the necessary departments under one roof. Additionally, they have a highly-anticipated slate of films in production, which allows Bredow’s team to experiment simultaneously with multiple types of experiences in a next-generation entertainment sandbox.
Challenges to Overcome for the Future of Virtual Reality Gaming
As VR gaming technology continues to evolve, it faces certain limitations that need to be addressed. For instance, video game developers are constantly striving to create a seamless virtual world that accurately responds to the user’s movements and interactions. However, discrepancies between the virtual environment and the real world can lead to VR sickness, causing up to 40 percent of users to experience nausea.
Cyber risks should not be forgotten either, but you can protect yourself from them. For example, an Edge VPN extension, an app, or a router add-on can mitigate most cyber risks. It is crucial to ensure a safe and open playing environment to fully enjoy the immersive qualities of virtual reality.
How Will the AR/VR Landscape Evolve?
Despite the obstacles, 69 percent of participants in the Jabil survey anticipate that AR and VR will achieve mainstream status in the next five years. Looking even further ahead, nearly half of those surveyed envision a future where AR and VR merge seamlessly, empowering players to manipulate games through motion-controlled gloves. An additional 25 percent predict a VR world where players navigate virtual environments while remaining physically stationary.
However, given the swift pace of technological advancements, the future of AR and VR may hold unforeseen surprises. While 29 percent of respondents have a plan for incorporating AR and VR, a majority (82 percent) expect rapid changes that necessitate adaptable strategies. The gaming industry, platform developers, and content creators must embrace flexibility as the AR/VR landscape evolves.
The barrier between cinema and storytelling is no more. Amidst this inspiring concept, the team unexpectedly draws inspiration from Disneyland. Walt Disney himself believed in transcending the realm of cinema through physical experiences. This philosophy now evolves into a supercharged 2.0 version. Gaeta’s visionary concept resembles a digital Disneyland, encompassing a grand vision. Moreover, Walt Disney Imagineering has embedded a satellite team at ILM to collaborate on Disneyland attractions. There’s much to be gleaned from these park formats.