VR Digest: The Void comes to Disneyland

The week's top VR news brought to you
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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by John Dewar (@jstarrdewar) Issue 133 – August 17, 2017

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Hi Friends,

A light week for VR news, thankfully—we’re in crunch mode on a project. I’ll be traveling next week to experience the total eclipse in person. Hopefully if you’re near the path you’ll take the time to check it out, but if you can’t make it, you can watch a livestream in VR!

John, Aaron, Bowdy, and Elissa 
at Studio Transcendent

The Void Comes to Disneyland

The Void announced that it will partner with Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB to bring an experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to locations at Disney’s resorts. The Void locations will be at Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Orlando, shopping areas on resort property but outside of the park gates. Known for its warehouse-sized experiences such as Ghostbusters: Dimension that include 4D effects like heat, wind, mist, and scent, The Void is classifying its new experience as “hyper-reality.” Variety recently posted a report on their expansion plans.

As we reported in issue #128, The Void is among the 11 participants in Disney’s 2017 Accelerator program. This will give Disney the opportunity to dip its toes in the water for providing an out-of-home VR experience with Disney IP, without integrating it into the park experience itself. Disney is opening a new Star Wars land in both California and Florida in 2019, which will feature real time rendered content that guests can interact with but, as of yet, no HMD-based attractions.


A short gif of someone playing Bandai Namco’s Mario Kart VR at the VR Zone Shinjuku arcade made it to the top of the front page of reddit. It shows how the Vive tracker is used to track the user’s hands to throw a shell as well as find the physical steering wheel.

While the details are not yet available, Altspace has announced that it will resume operations. They told Road to VR that they are “up and running for [their] user community and SDK developers with the help of a skeleton crew.” [Road to VR]

VentureBeat reports that a new GearVR headset will be revealed next week alongside Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.

A new omnidirectional treadmill prototype called StriderVR uses a “rotatable ball array positioned above a traditional linear treadmill, combined with a Microsoft Kinect 2 sensor.” Unlike most omnidirectional treadmills on which the user can physically rotate a full 360 degrees, Road To VR explains that “Strider VR’s Kinect-based system actively keeps your body facing the sensor, while giving the impression that you can turn freely.” But it doesn’t seem like the contraption currently works very well. [Road to VR]

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Thursdays.

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