Starbreeze and Acer create IMAX Enhanced Virtual Reality Headset, StarVR

Starbreeze and Acer team up to demonstrate their new, strikingly innovative virtual reality headset, StarVR, at IFA 2016.

It has become tremendously clear that virtual reality is slowly taking over the entertainment world. With devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Cardboard, everyone is able to join the fun of these artistically creative, immersive, and experimental universes. During Europe’s IFA (shorthand for Internationale Funkausstellung), which is the largest consumer electronics trade show on the continent, Acer and Starbreeze debuted demonstrations for their newly produced virtual reality headset, StarVR. CEO of Starbreeze, Bo Andersson Klint expressed that “From day one we’ve been convinced that we can deliver premium experiences with premium hardware. The search for great partners sharing the same vision was long, but we’re happy to be able to lay down these two fundamental parts in Starbreeze VR-ecosystem together with Acer and IMAX.”

Even though StarVR may have some tough competition, recent users report that these new headsets will give others a run for their money. With a 210 degree field of view (almost double the current lead FOV, which rests at 110 degrees) and a 5K resolution, Starbreeze and Acer have created a more defined and detailed viewer. It’s unclear the full capacity that StarVR will provide, but moviegoers may have the option to “step into the movie” after a film is over, with virtual reality rooms adjacent to the theater.

While more popular virtual reality devices are prevalent amongst gamers, StarVR has announced that they will begin shipping headsets out to IMAX theaters shortly, and not necessarily in an effort to target public consumers. With plans to create brand new virtual reality centers, IMAX believes that audiences will pay more to be able to submerge themselves in this new technology. Chief Business Development Officer for IMAX, Robert D. Lister stated “We are looking forward to the launch of our first IMAX VR® center and pleased with the progress demonstrated by the initial shipment of StarVR® HMDs from Acer and Starbreeze, as this exciting industry continues to develop and grow.” Los Angeles will be the first to house this new VR center, while London, New York, and Shanghai, are to follow, and should be expected by the end of the year.

With recent announcements of virtual reality integrating with film, we can expect to see more movies made with this technology. In the upcoming weeks, the Venice Film Festival will release a limited cut of the first ever feature-length virtual reality film, Jesus VR: The Story of Christ. Perhaps the inclusion of virtual reality will open up, and offer viewers a more immersive experience at the movies, much like 3D did many years back. And if IMAX thinks that audiences are willing to submerge themselves, both physically and financially in these unique capabilities, why not try to expand and enhance the effort?

While there is no official date as to when LA goers can experience StarVR, units have already begun to ship out, making it likely to debut in the next few months.

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Thomas DeVito

Thomas, who studied English at SUNY Oswego, is an aspiring screenwriter and a Contributing Writer Intern for the Monologue Blogger. When not typing away at his computer, he can be found watching the latest films, or reading the newest bestseller. Unfortunately, he is unrelated to Danny DeVito.