‘The Void’ Update: Delivering More to VR Users

The Void
The Void | Thevoid.com | YouTube.com

Today, The Void will open the doors to its award-winning Ghostbusters: Dimension VR experience in Lindon, Utah. Previously only available in New York City and Dubai, for $25 you can experience what many are calling the future of VR. But how is The Void really doing? How could it save the VR market?

Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad called The Void the “greatest experience, truly, I’ve ever had.” In both of The Void’s current productions, Ghostbusters and Curse of the Serpent’s Eyeattendees wear a proprietary haptic vest and VR headset called the Rapture, which has been refined over generations since the project really began in 2015.

#TheVoid opens its Ghostbusters experience in Lindon, Utah today.Click To Tweet

Check out some of these first reactions.

Where is it Going, Where has it Been?

Co-founder and chief creative officer of The Void, Curtis Hickman, told ABC Channel 4 Utah that the team has many exciting VR projects on the horizon. In fact, they plan on opening 20 new “hyper-reality” attractions this year alone.

The first Void experience, Ghostbusters: Dimension, opened at the Madam Tussaud’s wax museum in New York City last July. At roughly $50 a pop, this one attraction has already grossed The Void nearly $1,000,000 USD in revenue.

Early gear for The Void | MIT Technology Review | technologyreview.com

The Void has come a long way from experimenting in Utah suburbs with piecemeal VR gear to boasting its own proprietary headset and bodysuit.

The Rapture headset and haptic suit for The Void | Jason Henry for the New York Times | Nytimes.com

Whether The Void is Helping the VR Market

VR has not exploded into mainstream entertainment in the U.S. since Oculus and HTC debuted their headsets a few years ago.

Some common criticisms of current VR experiences:

  • VR headsets and equipment are too expensive
  • VR equipment is too cumbersome
  • Current VR games can disrupt locomotive perception and unsettle users
  • There is not enough quality content available to justify buying a VR system

The Void seems to address these concerns.

Yet, for one attendee of the Ghostbusters experience, the headset was too big and detracted from the immersion factor. While sensations of heat, moisture, and wind were provided, some users found that they weren’t hot enough or wet enough.

Patterns in the VR environment, say etchings in stone, were impossible to feel. But most people were satisfied with the near-reality provided by Ghostbusters and The Curse of the Serpent’s Eye.

Nevertheless, low ticket cost and tailor-made hyper-reality environments seem to be enough to sell out tickets, as for today’s opening day in Lindon, Utah, there are no tickets available.

TV is its own Experience

For VR entertainment fans hoping that with The Void comes improved home VR experiences, disappointment may be on the horizon.

The Void is much more like a proto-Westworld amusement park than it is a in-home VR entertainment system, and its proprietary equipment likely would not be any more effective in the home environment. Complete with social interaction, Void executives see their hyper-reality attractions as a public draw and a replacement for the dying mall. Perhaps their model is the next step in mainstream entertainment that, with regards to VR, no one saw coming.

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